Every Single Dot In This Image Is Actually A Galaxy

Posted: Jul 18 2018, 1:52am CDT | by , Updated: Jul 18 2018, 2:36am CDT, in Latest Science News


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Every Single Dot in This Image is Actually a Galaxy
Credit: ESA/Herschel/SPIRE

The image shows a map of the North Galactic Pole as observed by ESA's Herschel Space Observatory

This may look at first glance tiny grains of salt scattered all over the place, but it is actually a unique view of the universe. Every single dot in this image is a distant galaxy as observed by Herschel Space Observatory. The bright marks here represent heat emitted from the dust grains lying between the stars of each galaxy. The heat was likely released well before the formation of solar system and it took billions of years to reach us.

We, as humans, struggle to comprehend how vast the universe is because we and our planet itself are very small when compared to the large scale of the universe. Telescopes like Herschel are ideal for viewing large patches of sky in great detail and offer a unique perspective on the universe.

On Earth, astronomers define locations using a coordinate system. When it comes to Milky Way, we use galactic coordinate system. The system is spherical and has sun is in the center. The system is the key to understanding objects located within the Galaxy.

This particular image shows a map of the North Galactic Pole and it is captured by Herschel's Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver, SPIRE. North Galactic Pole is one of the two points to view Milky Way’s starry disk.

“The North Galactic Pole lies far from the cluttered disc of the Milky Way, and offers a clean, clear view of the distant Universe beyond our home galaxy. In the sky, it is located somewhere in the northern constellation of Coma Berenices (Berenice's Hair) a region that also contains an especially rich galaxy cluster known as the Coma Cluster. Serendipitously, the Coma Cluster is included in this map, adding over 1000 points of light to the tally of individual galaxies.” European Space Agency’s statement said.

ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory was launched in 2009 and remained operational till 2013. It carried the largest telescope ever send in space and studied sky in the far infrared by using sophisticated instruments. In the latest image, SPIRE was used to map the North Galactic Pole in three different filters simultaneously.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/47" rel="author">Hira Bashir</a>
The latest discoveries in science are the passion of Hira Bashir (). With years of experience, she is able to spot the most interesting new achievements of scientists around the world and cover them in easy to understand reporting.




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