Luminous in Lepus

Esahubble_potw2404a_1024

esahubble_potw2404a January 22nd, 2024

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. J. Foley (UC Santa Cruz)

This image shows the spiral galaxy IC 438, which lies about 130 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Lepus (the Hare). Lepus lies just south of the celestial equator (the ring around the middle of Earth that falls at right angles to its rotation axis). Appropriately, Lepus is flanked by the constellations Canis Major (the Greater Dog) and Orion (the Hunter), whilst Canis Minor (the Lesser Dog) lies very nearby, meaning that in artistic representations of the constellations, Lepus is often shown as being pursued by Orion and his two hunting dogs.  Lepus is one of the 88 constellations that are officially recognised by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). It is worth clarifying that, whilst the actual constellations themselves only comprise a handful of stars, the area of sky covered by those stars is often referred to using the name of the constellation. For example, when we say that IC 438 is in Lepus, we do not mean that the galaxy is part of the constellation — perhaps obviously, as it is not a single star, but an entire galaxy! Rather, we mean that it falls in the region of sky covered by the Lepus constellation stars.  The IAU’s 88 official constellations are by no means the only constellations ever described by humanity. Humans have been studying and naming the stars for a very long time, and different cultures of course have their own constellations. The IAU constellations are Eurocentric, with many taken from Ptolemy’s list of constellations. Collectively, the 88 constellations divide the night sky into 88 regions which completely cover it, so that the approximate location of any celestial object can be described using one of the 88. The impetus behind Hubble examining this galaxy was a type Iax supernova that took place in 2017, a kind of supernova that arises from a binary system of two stars. While this data was obtained over three years after the supernova occurred, and so it’s not visible in this image, there’s still a lot to learn from studying the aftermath of supernovae like this one. [Image Description: A large spiral galaxy seen close-up. The left side of the image shows the galaxy's core and its tightly-curled inner spiral arms. On the right side, one of the arms reaches down from above, curving across the dark background. There is a bright star inside the arc of the arm, and a couple more next to the galaxy.] Links Pan: Luminous in Lepus

Provider: Hubble Space Telescope | ESA

Image Source: https://esahubble.org/images/potw2404a/

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

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
IC 438
Esahubble_potw2404a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 5h 53m 2.2s
DEC = -17° 52’ 1.7”
Orientation
North is 231.6° CCW
Field of View
2.0 x 1.3 arcminutes
Constellation
Lepus

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue Hubble (WFC3) Optical (V) 555.0 nm
Green Hubble (WFC3) Optical (V) 555.0 nm
Green Hubble (WFC3) Optical (I) 814.0 nm
Red Hubble (WFC3) Optical (I) 814.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Blue
Green
Green
Red
Esahubble_potw2404a_1280
×
ID
potw2404a
Subject Category
Subject Name
IC 438
Credits
ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. J. Foley (UC Santa Cruz)
Release Date
2024-01-22T06:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://esahubble.org/images/potw2404a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope
Instrument
WFC3, WFC3, WFC3, WFC3
Color Assignment
Blue, Green, Green, Red
Band
Optical, Optical, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
V, V, I, I
Central Wavelength
555, 555, 814, 814
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
None, None, None, None
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
88.25906475279328, -17.86713706682021
Reference Dimension
3079.0, 2038.0
Reference Pixel
1539.5, 1019.0
Scale
-1.1014144786330116e-05, 1.1014144786330116e-05
Rotation
231.55999999999986
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
potw2404a
Metadata Date
2024-01-14T12:36:39-07:00
Metadata Version
1.1
×

 

Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

×

There is no distance meta data in this image.

 

Providers | Sign In