A spiral home to exploding stars

Esahubble_potw1413a_1024

esahubble_potw1413a March 31st, 2014

Credit: NASA, ESA, and S. Smartt (Queen's University Belfast)Acknowledgement: Brian Campbell

In this new Hubble image, we can see an almost face-on view of the galaxy NGC 1084. At first glance, this galaxy is pretty unoriginal. Like the majority of galaxies that we observe it is a spiral galaxy, and, as with about half of all spirals, it has no bar running through its loosely wound arms. However, although it may seem unremarkable on paper, NGC 1084 is actually a near-perfect example of this type of galaxy — and Hubble has a near-perfect view of it. NGC 1084 has hosted several violent events known as supernovae — explosions that occur when massive stars, many times more massive than the Sun, approach their twilight years. As the fusion processes in their cores run out of fuel and come to an end, these stellar giants collapse, blowing off their outer layers in a violent explosion. Supernovae can often briefly outshine an entire galaxy, before then fading away over several weeks or months. Although directly observing one of these explosions is hard to do, in galaxies like NGC 1084 astronomers can find and study the remnants left behind. Astronomers have noted five supernova explosions within NGC 1084 over the past half century. These remnants are named after the year in which they took place — 1963P, 1996an, 1998dl, 2009H, and 2012ec. The most recent explosion, 2012ec, was detected at the end of NGC 1084’s top right arm in August 2012. It is not visible here as these images were taken in 2001, some eleven years before this supernova exploded. Astronomers at Queen's University Belfast have managed to use these "before" images to directly identify the star that exploded. It appears to be a red supergiant some 10 to 20 times more massive than the Sun, and quite similar to the well-known star Betelguese in Orion. A version of this image was entered into the Hubble's Hidden Treasures image processing competition by Flickr user Brian Campbell (Sinickel).

Provider: Hubble Space Telescope | ESA

Image Source: https://esahubble.org/images/potw1413a/

Curator: ESA/Hubble, Baltimore, MD, United States

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
NGC 1084
Subject - Local Universe
Galaxy > Type > Spiral
Esahubble_potw1413a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 2h 45m 59.4s
DEC = -7° 34’ 48.4”
Orientation
North is 43.8° CCW
Field of View
1.8 x 1.6 arcminutes
Constellation
Eridanus

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue Hubble (WFPC2) Optical (B) 450.0 nm
Green Hubble (WFPC2) Optical (V) 606.0 nm
Red Hubble (WFPC2) Infrared (I) 814.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Blue
Green
Red
Esahubble_potw1413a_1280
×
ID
potw1413a
Subject Category
C.5.1.1  
Subject Name
NGC 1084
Credits
NASA, ESA, and S. Smartt (Queen's University Belfast)Acknowledgement: Brian Campbell
Release Date
2014-03-31T10:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://esahubble.org/images/potw1413a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
NED
Facility
Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope
Instrument
WFPC2, WFPC2, WFPC2
Color Assignment
Blue, Green, Red
Band
Optical, Optical, Infrared
Bandpass
B, V, I
Central Wavelength
450, 606, 814
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
41.4973343594, -7.58011532811
Reference Dimension
2134.0, 1953.0
Reference Pixel
1067.0, 976.0
Scale
-1.40713879548e-05, 1.40713879548e-05
Rotation
43.840000000000025
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
ESA/Hubble
URL
https://esahubble.org
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
ESA Office, Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Dr
City
Baltimore
State/Province
MD
Postal Code
21218
Country
United States
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
ESA/Hubble
Publisher ID
esahubble
Resource ID
potw1413a
Metadata Date
2023-11-25T01:00:20.309613
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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There is no distance meta data in this image.

 

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