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HomeScience and NatureHubble Snaps Incredible Image of NGC 4689

Hubble Snaps Incredible Image of NGC 4689

by News7

Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have captured this vivid image of NGC 4689, a jewel-bright spiral galaxy in the constellation of Coma Berenices.

This Hubble image shows NGC 4689, a spiral galaxy located 52 million light-years away in the constellation of Coma Berenices. Image credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble / D. Thilker / J. Lee / PHANGS-HST Team.

NGC 4689 is located some 52 million light-years away in the constellation of Coma Berenices.

“The constellation of Coma Berenices has the distinction of being the only one of the 88 constellations officially recognized by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to be named after an historical figure, Queen Berenice II of Egypt,” the Hubble astronomers explained.

“The latin word ‘coma’ references her hair, meaning that NGC 4689 can be said to be found in the hair of a queen.”

“Some people of Berenice’s time would have meant this quite literally, as the story goes that her court astronomer thought that a missing lock of Berenice’s hair had been catasterized (a word meaning ‘placed amongst the stars’) by the gods: hence the name of the constellation, Coma Berenices.”

NGC 4689 was discovered by the German-born British astronomer William Herschel on April 12, 1784.

Also known as LEDA 43186 or UGC 7965, this galaxy is a member of the Virgo Cluster, a group of more than 2,000 galaxies.

NGC 4689 is inclined at an angle of 36 degrees which means that it is seen almost face-on.

The new image of the galaxy was made from separate exposures taken in the ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared regions of the spectrum with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).

It is based on data obtained through six filters. The color results from assigning different hues to each monochromatic image associated with an individual filter.

“This image has been made using data from two sets of observations, one made in 2019 and 2024, both of which were made as a part of programs that observed multiple ‘nearby’ galaxies,” the astronomers said.

The 2024 observing program is an interesting example of how Hubble — a relatively old but extraordinarily productive telescope — can support the work of the technologically cutting-edge Webb telescope.”

“Observations collected by Webb stand to transform our understanding of how galaxies transform and evolve over time, by providing data of an unprecedented level of detail and clarity.”

“However, thanks to their complementary capabilities, new observations from Hubble — such as those used to create the new image — can assist the work done using Webb.”

“In this case, the Hubble data were collected in order to get a more accurate grasp of the stellar populations of nearby galaxies, which is crucial to understanding the evolution of galaxies.”

“Thus, NGC 4689 is playing an important role in developing our understanding of how all galaxies evolve.”

Source : Breaking Science News

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