Little Galaxies Pack a Big Punch

Galex_glx2011-02f_img01_1024

galex_glx2011-02f_img01 April 21st, 2011

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/D. Neill (Caltech)

NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer is helping to solve a mystery -- why do the littlest of galaxies produce the biggest of star explosions, or supernovae?

These postage-stamp images were taken by the ultraviolet-sensing telescope -- the top row shows four galaxies that each produced a typical supernova, while the bottom row shows four galaxies that each produced an ultra-bright supernova. All of the galaxies are located at the very center of the images. The top-row galaxies are roughly the size of our Milky Way galaxy.

It turns out that the tiny galaxies are producing supernovae that outshine all the stars in the galaxies in the top row. How can this be? Evidence from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer is helping provide an answer. It may be that, because the smaller galaxies contain few heavy atoms than the larger galaxies, their massive stars don't shed as much material and therefore remain plump. The plumper a star is when it explodes, the larger the blast.

Provider: Galaxy Evolution Explorer

Image Source: /image/galex/glx2011-02f_img01

Curator: Galaxy Evolution Explorer, Pasadena, CA, USA

Image Use Policy: Public Domain

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Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Subject - Local Universe
Galaxy

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_blue GALEX (FUV) Ultraviolet (Far-UV) 150.0 nm
Arrow_left_yellow GALEX (NUV) Ultraviolet (Near-UV) 230.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Arrow_top_blue
Arrow_top_yellow
Galex_glx2011-02f_img01_1280
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ID
glx2011-02f_img01
Subject Category
C.5.  
Subject Name
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech/D. Neill (Caltech)
Release Date
2011-04-21
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
/image/galex/glx2011-02f_img01
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
GALEX, GALEX
Instrument
FUV, NUV
Color Assignment
Blue, Yellow
Band
Ultraviolet, Ultraviolet
Bandpass
Far-UV, Near-UV
Central Wavelength
150, 230
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
Equinox
Reference Value
Reference Dimension
Reference Pixel
Scale
Rotation
Coordinate System Projection:
Quality
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
Galaxy Evolution Explorer
URL
http://www.galex.caltech.edu
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
1200 E. California Blvd.
City
Pasadena
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
91125
Country
USA
Rights
Public Domain
Publisher
Galaxy Evolution Explorer
Publisher ID
galex
Resource ID
Resource URL
/image/galex/glx2011-02f_img01
Related Resources
Metadata Date
2019-02-27T22:20:54Z
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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There is no distance meta data in this image.