Galactic Conjunction

Esahubble_potw2201a_1024

esahubble_potw2201a January 3rd, 2022

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, D. Jones, A. Riess et al.Acknowledgement: R. Colombari

This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captures the spiral galaxy NGC 105, which lies roughly 215 million light-years away in the constellation Pisces. While it looks like NGC 105 is plunging edge-on into a collision with a neighbouring galaxy, this is just the result of the chance alignment of the two objects in the night sky. NGC 105’s elongated neighbour is actually far more distant and remains relatively unknown to astronomers. These misleading conjunctions occur frequently in astronomy — for example, the stars in constellations are at vastly different distances from Earth, and only appear to form patterns thanks to the chance alignment of their component stars. The Wide Field Camera 3 observations in this image are from a vast collection of Hubble measurements examining nearby galaxies which contain two fascinating astronomical phenomena — Cepheid variables and cataclysmic supernova explosions. Whilst these two phenomena may appear to be unrelated — one is a peculiar class of pulsating stars and the other is the explosion caused by the catastrophic final throes of a massive star’s life — they are both used by astronomers for a very particular purpose: measuring the vast distances to astronomical objects. Both Cepheids and supernovae have very predictable luminosities, meaning that astronomers can tell precisely how bright they are. By measuring how bright they appear when observed from Earth, these “standard candles” can provide reliable distance measurements. NGC 105 contains both supernovae and Cepheid variables, giving astronomers a valuable opportunity to calibrate the two distance measurement techniques against one another. Astronomers recently carefully analysed the distances to a sample of galaxies including NGC 105 to measure how fast the Universe is expanding — a value known as the Hubble constant. Their results don’t agree with the predictions of the most widely-accepted cosmological model, and their analysis shows that there is only a 1-in-a-million chance that this discrepancy was caused by measurement errors. This discrepancy between galaxy measurements and cosmological predictions has been a long-standing source of consternation for astronomers, and these recent findings provide persuasive new evidence that something is either wrong or lacking in our standard model of cosmology.

Provider: Hubble Space Telescope | ESA

Image Source: https://esahubble.org/images/potw2201a/

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 105
Subject - General
Galaxy > Type > Spiral
Esahubble_potw2201a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 0h 25m 16.2s
DEC = 12° 53’ 3.1”
Orientation
North is 67.2° CCW
Field of View
2.4 x 1.4 arcminutes
Constellation
Pisces

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Red Hubble (WFC3) Infrared (H) 1.6 µm
Green Hubble (WFC3) Optical (I) 814.0 nm
Cyan Hubble (WFC3) Optical (V) 555.0 nm
Blue Hubble (WFC3) Optical (Long pass) 350.0 nm
Luminosity Hubble (WFC3) Optical (Long pass) 350.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Red
Green
Cyan
Blue
Luminosity
Esahubble_potw2201a_1280
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ID
potw2201a
Subject Category
E.5.1.1  
Subject Name
NGC 105
Credits
ESA/Hubble & NASA, D. Jones, A. Riess et al.Acknowledgement: R. Colombari
Release Date
2022-01-03T06:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://esahubble.org/images/potw2201a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope
Instrument
WFC3, WFC3, WFC3, WFC3, WFC3
Color Assignment
Red, Green, Cyan, Blue, Luminosity
Band
Infrared, Optical, Optical, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
H, I, V, Long pass, Long pass
Central Wavelength
1600, 814, 555, 350, 350
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
None, None, None, None, None
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
6.317298655641906, 12.884202851705226
Reference Dimension
3565.0, 2045.0
Reference Pixel
1782.5, 1022.5
Scale
-1.1006223374582743e-05, 1.1006223374582743e-05
Rotation
67.219999999999985
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
potw2201a
Metadata Date
2021-12-17T00:10:32+01:00
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.