STScI: NGC 3982: Pinwheel of Star Birth

See new, spectacular, or mysterious sky images.
User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 21570
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

STScI: NGC 3982: Pinwheel of Star Birth

Post by bystander » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:40 pm

NGC 3982: Pinwheel of Star Birth
Space Telescope Science Institute | 19 Oct 2010
Though the universe is chock full of spiral-shaped galaxies, no two look exactly the same. This face-on spiral galaxy, called NGC 3982, is striking for its rich tapestry of star birth, along with its winding arms. The arms are lined with pink star-forming regions of glowing hydrogen, newborn blue star clusters, and obscuring dust lanes that provide the raw material for future generations of stars. The bright nucleus is home to an older population of stars, which grow ever more densely packed toward the center.

NGC 3982 is located about 68 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. The galaxy spans about 30,000 light-years, one-third of the size of our Milky Way galaxy.

This color image is composed of exposures taken by the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), and the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). The observations were taken between March 2000 and August 2009. The rich color range comes from the fact that the galaxy was photographed invisible and near-infrared light. Also used was a filter that isolates hydrogen emission that emanates from bright star-forming regions dotting the spiral arms.

rsilver

Re: STScI: NGC 3982: Pinwheel of Star Birth

Post by rsilver » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:45 pm

The description of the beautiful Hubble image of NCG 3982:

"The rich color range comes from the fact that the galaxy was photographed invisible and near-infrared light",

should be edited to read:

"The rich color range comes from the fact that the galaxy was photographed in visible and near-infrared light"

... unless the photography was performed in invisible light.

Thanks for the beautiful images.

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 13295
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: STScI: NGC 3982: Pinwheel of Star Birth

Post by Ann » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:09 pm

Oh what a pretty galaxy!!! Pretty pretty! Pretty pretty! Oh, pretty!!! Pretty, oh!

Image

<swoons from an overdose of prettiness>

(But dislikes Hubble's choice of filters - how can a filter centered at 555nm be used to detect blue color?)

Still -

Image

In spiral blue galaxy heaven, oh!

Ann
Color Commentator

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 13295
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: STScI: NGC 3982: Pinwheel of Star Birth

Post by Ann » Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:09 pm

NGC 3982 was APOD on 3.11.2003:

Image

That's a much yellower image.

And lookee here! This cosmic pinwheel is even a creature of the Galaxy Zoo!

Image

And look at this:

Image

I remember this supernova in NGC 3982 very well. As to why I remember this particular supernova so well, why, it is because it was so blue, of course! The color balance of this picture is rather too blue, but there is no mistaking the blue color of the supernova. This is the typical color of an unreddened supernova type Ia!

Ann
Color Commentator