Tuesday, July 5, 2022

A hidden spiral galaxy spotted hiding behind our Milky Way

It is roughly 50,000 light-years across and billions of years old.

Since its launch, Hubble has changed our fundamental understanding of the universe.

Recently, it captured a remote galaxy hidden behind our Milky Way. Located almost 11 million light-years from Earth, the hidden galaxy is a spiral galaxy IC 342, also known as Caldwell 5. It’s about half the diameter of our own Milky Way (50,000 light-years across), making it relatively large.

It is roughly 50,000 light-years across and billions of years old.

The galaxy has a relatively bright 8.4 magnitude. It appears near the equator of the Milky Way’s pearly disk, which is crowded with dense cosmic gas, dark dust, and glowing stars that all obscure our view.

NASA writes“This sparkling, face-on view of the center of the galaxy displays intertwined tendrils of dust in spectacular arms that wrap around a brilliant core of hot gas and stars. This core is a specific type of region called an H II nucleus – an area of atomic hydrogen that has become ionized. Such regions are energetic birthplaces of stars where thousands of stars can form over a couple of million years.”

“Each young, extremely hot, blue star emits ultraviolet light, further ionizing the surrounding hydrogen.”

The galaxy would be one of the brightest galaxies in our sky if there was not so much dust in the way.

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