Hubble Telescope Sheds Light on an Enigmatic Galaxy. Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Tully.

Hubble Telescope Sheds Light on an Enigmatic Galaxy

Here is another stunning image of the Hubble Space Telescope.


Appearing like a solitary, hazy cloud against a canvas of radiant stars, the highly irregular galaxy ESO 174-1 comes to life in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Located about 11 million light-years from Earth, ESO 174-1 is composed of a brilliant cluster of stars encased in a delicate tendril of nebulous gas and dust.

Unraveling Galactic Mysteries with Hubble

The image is part of a comprehensive suite of Hubble observations aimed at demystifying our neighboring galaxies. The objective is to discern the brightest stars and fundamental properties of every identified galaxy within a 10-megaparsecs radius. A parsec, the astronomical unit of measure for galaxy-sized distances, simplifies the comprehension of cosmic distances. To put it into perspective, 10 megaparsecs is equivalent to 32 million light-years. To further illustrate, our Sun’s nearest star, Proxima Centauri, is a staggering 1.3 parsecs away, which translates to an awe-inspiring 25 trillion miles (40 trillion km)!

Maximizing Hubble’s Observing Time

The initiative to capture our neighboring galaxies leverages the 2-3% of Hubble’s free time between observations. As it’s ineffective for Hubble to consecutively observe objects located at opposing parts of the sky, programs like the one that captured ESO 174-1 are designed to fill these gaps. This method enables the telescope to gradually transition from one observation to the next, continuously collecting data. By employing these fill-in observing programs, Hubble can optimize every last minute of its observing time.


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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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