NASA's Hubble Telescope Shows Us A Woolly Galaxy

Posted: Sep 26 2015, 2:28pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News


NASA's Hubble Telescope Shows Us a Woolly Galaxy
ESA/Hubble & NASA and S. Smartt (Queen's University Belfast); Credit: Robert Gendler

The Hubble Telescope delivers a view at a "soft" almost woolly kind of galaxy.

The NASA Hubble Telescope delivered already many stunning images from space. This time space fans get a view at a galaxy that appears soft and cuddly. The new image of the spiral galaxy NGC 3521 from the NASA and ESA Hubble Space Telescope is not out of focus. ESA scientists say that the galaxy itself has a soft, woolly appearance as it a member of a class of galaxies known as flocculent spirals.

ESA continues: "Like other flocculent galaxies, NGC 3521 lacks the clearly defined, arcing structure to its spiral arms that shows up in galaxies such as Messier 101, which are called grand design spirals. In flocculent spirals, fluffy patches of stars and dust show up here and there throughout their disks. Sometimes the tufts of stars are arranged in a generally spiraling form, as with NGC 3521, but illuminated star-filled regions can also appear as short or discontinuous spiral arms."

30% of galaxies have the NGC 3521's patchiness. About 10% of galaxies have their star-forming regions wound into grand design spirals.

The NGC 3521 galaxy is located almost 40 million light-years away in the constellation of Leo (The Lion). The British astronomer William Herschel discovered the object in 1784. 

Hubble has also this week delivered a stunning image of an exploding star.

Exploding star

The image above shows a small section of the expanding remains of a massive star that exploded about 8,000 years ago.

The Veil Nebula is one of the most famous supernova remnants, deriving its name from its delicate, draped filamentary structures. The entire nebula is 110 light-years across, covering six full moons on the sky as seen from Earth, and resides about 2,100 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus, the Swan.

NASA also released a 3D flyover visualization of the Veil Nebula. The 3-D model has been created for illustrative purposes and shows that that the giant bubble of gas has a thin, rippled surface. It also highlights that the emission from different chemical elements arises from different layers of gas within the nebula. In the imagery, emission from hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen are shown in red, green, and blue, respectively.

NASA will host a media event on Monday revealing the answer to a Mars Mystery. At the pace NASA is making discovers recently is breath taking. We could fill our Science section just with NASA related news almost each day.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi Lugmayr () is the founding chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at




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