Hubble Telescope: Hubble captures stunning image of spiral galaxy! The Hubble Telescope, operated by US’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA), has captured a beautiful image of the spiral galaxy NGC 5643, NASA and ESA said in a joint statement. The galaxy is in the Lupus constellation or The Wolf. However, capturing the image was no cakewalk, the space agencies have clarified, adding that looking that good, even for a galaxy, is not as easy as it may seem.
How did the Hubble capture the image?
According to the joint statement, it required a total of nine hours of exposure, along with 30 different exposures, and the clarity and high resolution provided by Hubble. Only then was the detailed image of the beautiful galaxy captured.
NGC 5643 explained
The spiral galaxy called NGC 5643 is located at a distance of 60 million light years away from our planet. It has also been the host of a recent event of supernova, which is not visible in the image that Hubble has captured. The supernova that the galaxy experienced, labelled 2017cbv, was a specific type of event during which a lot of mass is stolen by a white dwarf from a companion star.
The high amount of mass causes the white dwarf to become unstable and ultimately explode. A significant amount of energy is expelled during this explosion, as a result of which a part of the galaxy is lit up.
The image was observed by Adam Riess, who is a Nobel Prize winner in Physics.
Hubble: Its journey
The Hubble was deployed and launched into space a whopping three decades ago in 1990, in the space shuttle Discovery. The Hubble, as against telescopes situated on the planet, is not hindered by the Earth’s atmospheric conditions like rain, clouds and pollution, and has a clear view of other celestial objects. Named after revolutionary astronomer Edwin Hubble, the space telescope has been used by scientists for the observation of various distant stars and galaxies that were yet to be seen. It also helped in observation of planets in our own solar system as well.
Over the years, the capabilities of Hubble have been improving as the space agencies have placed cutting-edge components on the telescope in five astronaut servicing missions ever since it was deployed. Hubble can capture images from ultraviolet to visible, as can be seen by our eyes, and to near-infrared, making its range of observations and capturing vast and diverse. This has made the telescope especially useful in capturing stunning images of various astronomical objects, ultimately changing the way the universe has been viewed by people.