Sidekick or star of the show?

Esahubble_potw1707a_500

esahubble_potw1707a February 13th, 2017

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

This image was captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescopes Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), a highly efficient wide-field camera covering the optical and near-infrared parts of the spectrum. While this lovely image contains hundreds of distant stars and galaxies, one vital thing is missing the object Hubble was actually studying at the time! This is not because the target has disappeared. The ACS actually uses two detectors: the first captures the object being studied in this case an open star cluster known as NGC 299 while the other detector images the patch of space just beneath it. This is what can be seen here. Technically, this picture is merely a sidekick of the actual object of interest but space is bursting with activity, and this field of bright celestial bodies offers plenty of interest on its own. It may initially seem to show just stars, but a closer look reveals many of these tiny objects to be galaxies. The spiral galaxies have arms curving out from a bright centre. The fuzzier, less clearly shaped galaxies might be ellipticals. Some of these galaxies contain millions and millions of stars, but are so distant that all of their starry residents are contained within just a small pinprick of light that appears to be the same size as a single star! The bright blue dots are very hot stars, sometimes distorted into crosses by the struts supporting Hubbles secondary mirror. The redder dots are cooler stars, possibly in the red giant phase when a dying star cools and expands.

Image Source: http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1707a/

Curator: ESA/Hubble, Garching bei München, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Field stars
Subject - Milky Way
Star
Esahubble_potw1707a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 0h 53m 42.2s
DEC = -72° 13’ 3.6”
Orientation
North is 29.1° CCW
Field of View
3.2 x 1.6 arcminutes
Constellation
Tucana

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_cyan Hubble Space Telescope (ACS) Optical (V) 555.0 nm
Arrow_left_orange Hubble Space Telescope (ACS) Infrared (I) 814.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Arrow_top_cyan
Arrow_top_orange
Esahubble_potw1707a_1280
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ID
potw1707a
Subject Category
B.3  
Subject Name
Field stars
Credits
ESA/Hubble & NASA
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1707a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope
Instrument
ACS, ACS
Color Assignment
Cyan, Orange
Band
Optical, Infrared
Bandpass
V, I
Central Wavelength
555, 814
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
13.4256570615, -72.2176635295
Reference Dimension
3869.0, 1952.0
Reference Pixel
1934.5, 976.0
Scale
-1.3890131656e-05, 1.3890131656e-05
Rotation
29.139999999999965
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
ESA/Hubble
URL
http://www.spacetelescope.org
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2
City
Garching bei München
State/Province
Postal Code
D-85748
Country
Germany
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
ESA/Hubble
Publisher ID
esahubble
Resource ID
potw1707a
Metadata Date
2016-08-22T09:15:01+02:00
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.