Hubble Sees Double in M99

Esahubble_potw2218a_1024

esahubble_potw2218a May 2nd, 2022

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, M. Kasliwal, J. Lee and the PHANGS-HST Team

The magnificent spiral galaxy M99 fills the frame in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. M99 — which lies roughly 42 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Coma Berenices — is a “grand design” spiral galaxy, so-called because of the well-defined, prominent spiral arms visible in this image. M99 was captured by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 on two separate occasions, helping astronomers study two entirely different astronomical phenomena.  The first set of observations aimed to explore a gap between two different varieties of cosmic explosions; novae and supernovae. Novae, which are caused by the interactions between white dwarfs and larger stars in binary systems, are far less bright than the supernovae which mark the catastrophically violent deaths of massive stars. However, current astronomical theories predict that sudden, fleeting events could occur that shine with brightnesses between those of novae and supernovae. Despite being described by astronomers as being shrouded in mystery and controversy, just such an event was observed in M99. Astronomers turned to Hubble’s keen vision to take a closer look and precisely locate the fading source. The second set of observations were part of a large Hubble project which aims to chart the connections between young stars and the clouds of cold gas from which they form. Hubble inspected 38 nearby galaxies, identifying clusters of hot, young stars. These galaxies were also observed by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), a colossal radio telescope consisting of 66 individual dishes perched high in the Chilean Andes. The combination of Hubble’s observations of young stars and ALMA’s insight into clouds of cold gas will allow astronomers to delve into the details of star formation, and paves the way for future science with the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope. 

Provider: Hubble Space Telescope | ESA

Image Source: https://esahubble.org/images/potw2218a/

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

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
M 99
Subject - General
Galaxy > Type > Spiral
Esahubble_potw2218a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 12h 18m 50.7s
DEC = 14° 25’ 13.4”
Orientation
North is 152.2° CW
Field of View
4.8 x 2.5 arcminutes
Constellation
Coma Berenices

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Red Hubble (WFC3) Optical (I) 814.0 nm
Green Hubble (WFC3) Optical (V) 555.0 nm
Blue Hubble (WFC3) Optical (B) 438.0 nm
Blue Hubble (WFC3) Optical (U) 336.0 nm
Purple Hubble (WFC3) Ultraviolet (UV) 275.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Red
Green
Blue
Blue
Purple
Esahubble_potw2218a_1280
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ID
potw2218a
Subject Category
E.5.1.1  
Subject Name
M 99
Credits
ESA/Hubble & NASA, M. Kasliwal, J. Lee and the PHANGS-HST Team
Release Date
2022-05-02T06:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://esahubble.org/images/potw2218a/
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, Blue, Blue, Purple
Band
Optical, Optical, Optical, Optical, Ultraviolet
Bandpass
I, V, B, U, UV
Central Wavelength
814, 555, 438, 336, 275
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
None, None, None, None, None
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
184.71110473707523, 14.420393272760638
Reference Dimension
7264.0, 3731.0
Reference Pixel
3632.0, 1865.5
Scale
-1.1064619932962933e-05, 1.1064619932962933e-05
Rotation
-152.24000000000012
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
potw2218a
Metadata Date
2022-04-25T14:56:30+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.