Astronomers using the NASA / ESA Hubble Space Telescope have captured a striking new photo of the small spiral galaxy NGC 1317.
NGC 1317 is located approximately 55 million light years away in the southern constellation of Fornax.
Also known as ESO 357-23, LEDA 12653, and Fornax B, the galaxy is part of the NGC 1316 / NGC 1317 galaxy pair.
“NGC 1317’s largest neighbor, NGC 1316 (Fornax A), is outside of Hubble’s field of view,” the astronomers said.
“Despite the absence, NGC 1317 is accompanied in this image by two objects from very different parts of the Universe.”
“The bright spot surrounded by a crisscross pattern is a star from our own galaxy surrounded by diffraction peaks, while the elongated redder spot is a distant galaxy well beyond NGC 1317.”
The color image of NGC 1317 was taken from separate exposures taken in the ultraviolet, visible and near infrared regions of the spectrum with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) and Advanced Survey Camera (ACS) .
Five filters were used to sample different wavelengths. Color results from assigning different tints to each monochromatic image associated with an individual filter.
“Combined with data from the ALMA network in the Atacama Desert, these observations help us trace the links between the vast clouds of cold gas and the extremely hot young stars forming there,” the researchers said.
“ALMA’s unparalleled long-wavelength sensitivity identified vast reservoirs of cold gas throughout the local universe, and Hubble’s sharp vision located clusters of young stars, while measuring their age and mass. . “
“Often the most exciting astronomical discoveries require this kind of telescope teamwork, with state-of-the-art facilities working together and providing astronomers with information across the electromagnetic spectrum. “
“The same goes for future telescopes, with Hubble’s observations laying the groundwork for future science with the NASA / ESA / CSA James Webb Space Telescope. “