Size can be deceiving

Esahubble_potw1741a_500

esahubble_potw1741a October 9th, 2017

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

As far as galaxies are concerned, size can be deceiving. Some of the largest galaxies in the Universe are dormant, while some dwarf galaxies, such as ESO 553-46 imaged here by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, can produce stars at a hair-raising rate. In fact, ESO 553-46 has one of the highest rates of star formation of the 1000 or so galaxies nearest to the Milky Way. No mean feat for such a diminutive galaxy! Clusters of young, hot stars are speckling the galaxy, burning with a fierce blue glow. The intense radiation they produce also causes surrounding gas to light up, which is bright red in this image. The small mass and distinctive colouring of galaxies of this type prompted astronomers to classify them, appropriately, as blue compact dwarfs (BCD). Lacking the clear core and structure that many larger galaxies such as the Milky Way have, BCDs such as ESO 553-46 are composed of many large clusters of stars bound together by gravity. Their chemical makeup is interesting to astronomers, since they contain relatively little dust and few elements heavier than helium, which are produced in stars and distributed via supernova explosions. Such conditions are strikingly similar to those that existed in the early Universe, when the first galaxies were beginning to form.

Image Source: https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1741a/

Curator: ESA/Hubble, Garching bei München, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
ESO 553-46
Subject - Local Universe
Galaxy » Size » Dwarf
Esahubble_potw1741a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 5h 27m 6.0s
DEC = -20° 40’ 41.4”
Orientation
North is 105.3° CCW
Field of View
3.3 x 1.6 arcminutes
Constellation
Lepus

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_cyan Hubble Space Telescope (ACS) Optical (V) 606.0 nm
Arrow_left_red Hubble Space Telescope (ACS) Optical (V) 606.0 nm
Arrow_left_orange Hubble Space Telescope (ACS) Optical (I) 814.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Arrow_top_cyan
Arrow_top_red
Arrow_top_orange
Esahubble_potw1741a_1280
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ID
potw1741a
Subject Category
C.5.2.2  
Subject Name
ESO 553-46
Credits
ESA/Hubble & NASA
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1741a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope
Instrument
ACS, ACS, ACS
Color Assignment
Cyan, Red, Orange
Band
Optical, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
V, V, I
Central Wavelength
606, 606, 814
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
81.7748122936, -20.6781661678
Reference Dimension
3908.0, 1947.0
Reference Pixel
1954.0, 973.5
Scale
-1.38991894945e-05, 1.38991894945e-05
Rotation
105.34000000000002
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
potw1741a
Metadata Date
2017-06-19T09:53:22+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.