A new Hubble image highlights striking swirling dust lanes and glittering globular clusters in oddball galaxy NGC 7049.
The NASA/ESA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured this image of NGC 7049, a mysterious looking galaxy on the border between spiral and elliptical galaxies. NGC 7049 is found in the constellation of Indus, and is the brightest of a cluster of galaxies, a so-called Brightest Cluster Galaxy (BCG). Typical BCGs are some of the oldest and most massive galaxies. They provide excellent opportunities for astronomers to study the elusive globular clusters lurking within.
The globular clusters in NGC 7049 are seen as the sprinkling of small faint points of light in the galaxy’s halo. The halo – the ghostly region of diffuse light surrounding the galaxy – is composed of myriads of individual stars and provides a luminous background to the remarkable swirling ring of dust lanes surrounding NGC 7049's core. Globular clusters are very dense and compact groupings of a few hundreds of thousands of stars bound together by gravity. They contain some of the first stars to be produced in a galaxy. NGC 7049 has far fewer such clusters than other similar giant galaxies in very big, rich groups. This indicates to astronomers how the surrounding environment influenced the formation of galaxy halos in the early Universe.
Panning over NGC 7049, a mysterious looking galaxy with globular clusters dotted throughout its halo. Credit: ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser&L. L. Christensen).
The image was taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys on Hubble, which is optimised to hunt for galaxies and galaxy clusters in the remote and ancient Universe, at a time when our cosmos was very young.
The constellation of Indus, or the Indian, is one of the least conspicuous in the southern sky. It was named in the 16th century by Dutch astronomer Petrus Plancius from observations made by Dutch navigator Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Dutch explorer Frederick de Houtman.
The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA.
CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGE SIZE. A wide-field image of the region around NGC 7049 constructed from the images in the Digitized Sky Survey. The field-of-view is approximately 4.1 degrees x 3.1 degrees. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Digitized Sky Survey 2. Acknowledgment: Davide De Martin (ESA/Hubble)
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Supertranslations And Eternal Ghosts: Black Holes No Closer To Being Understood
- Bel's Temple in Palmyra Is No More
- If Happy Meal Law Passes, NYC Kids Will Frown
- Highlights From ICNFP 2015
- Blade Runner: The Science In The Fiction
- Innate GMO Potato Deregulated By USDA
- Is Smokeless Tobacco More Harmful Than Believed?
- "When you account for the following factors, such discrepancies disappear:-Men are more aggressive..."
- "The wavelength of the exiting radiation from the iguana asymptotically becomes zero, so I can't..."
- "The other thing that is weirdly suspicious is the picture mocking Hilarry Putnam. Now, the brains..."
- "My question is, exactly what was in this paper? He complains about the paper being rejected and..."
- "I wouldn't take it too hard buddy. Suppose they did publish it- then what, 20 more people might..."
- “Shock Therapy” – Not a Cuckoo’s Nest, a Valid Depression Rx
- Innate: Simplot genetically engineered potato gets USDA nod for deregulation
- Sorry, AIDS Deniers, It’s Only a Headline
- Mission Not Yet Accomplished on Vaccines
- Cigarettes, Now With An Organic Health Halo
- Bee Wary of Tales of the ‘Beepocalypse’
- Study reveals human body has gone through four stages of evolution
- Estimate claims plastic in 99 percent of seabirds by 2050 - but accuracy of the baseline is unknown
- Pollution and weather influence heart attack outcomes?
- Fish oil diet versus gut microbes
- Naps linked to reduced blood pressure and fewer medications