Purple haze

Eso_potw2218a_1024

eso_potw2218a May 2nd, 2022

Credit: ESO/PHANGS

This Picture of the Week showcases the impressive NGC 3627 galaxy, also known as Messier 66, located approximately 31 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Leo. The image was taken with the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. But why does it have these unusual colours? This image is a combination of observations conducted in different wavelengths of light. But rather than seeing the stars in this galaxy, as in more classical images, what this image displays is gas ionised by newly-born stars, with hydrogen, oxygen and sulphur shown in red, blue and orange respectively.  The image was taken as part of the Physics at High Angular resolution in Nearby GalaxieS (PHANGS) project, which is using telescopes operating across all wavelengths to make high-resolution observations of nearby galaxies. The goal of the project is to better understand what triggers, boosts or holds back the formation of new stars in different environments.

Provider: European Southern Observatory

Image Source: https://www.eso.org/public/images/potw2218a/

Curator: European Southern Observatory, Garching bei München, None, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Messier 66 NGC 3627
Subject - Local Universe
Galaxy > Type > Spiral
Galaxy > Type > Barred

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue VLT (MUSE) Infrared (OIII) 499.0 nm
Red VLT (MUSE) Optical (SII) 673.0 nm
Green VLT (MUSE) Optical (H-alpha) 656.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Blue
Red
Green
Eso_potw2218a_1280
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ID
potw2218a
Subject Category
C.5.1.1   C.5.1.2  
Subject Name
Messier 66, NGC 3627
Credits
ESO/PHANGS
Release Date
2022-05-02T06:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://www.eso.org/public/images/potw2218a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Very Large Telescope, Very Large Telescope, Very Large Telescope
Instrument
MUSE, MUSE, MUSE
Color Assignment
Blue, Red, Green
Band
Infrared, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
OIII, SII, H-alpha
Central Wavelength
499, 673, 656
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
None, None, None
Notes
Coordinate Frame
Equinox
Reference Value
Reference Dimension
1175.0, 579.0
Reference Pixel
Scale
Rotation
Coordinate System Projection:
Quality
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
European Southern Observatory
URL
https://www.eso.org
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2
City
Garching bei München
State/Province
None
Postal Code
D-85748
Country
Germany
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
European Southern Observatory
Publisher ID
eso
Resource ID
potw2218a
Metadata Date
2021-06-08T16:47:06+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.