Hubble Space Telescope Captures Galaxy UGC 12591

First Posted: Feb 28, 2017 04:06 AM EST

In a part of the universe about 400 million lightyears away from Earth is a massive galaxy that contains several hundred billion times the mass of the Sun, or four times the mass of our own Milky Way. It is in the westernmost part of the Pisces-Perseus supercluster called UGC 12591, also known as LEDA 71392.

Hubble observations so far have helped astronomers understand the mass of the galaxy, as well as determining whether it simply formed and grew slowly over time or if it became unusually massive by colliding and merging with another galaxy at some point in the past.

According to Sci-News, the new image from the telescope's wide-field camera 3 was made up of observations in the near-infrared and optical parts of the spectrum. This is with the help of a broad V-band filter and a near-infrared filter to sample different wavelengths.

The photo of the massive galaxy is not the only one that Hubble sent back as of late. noted that earlier in the month, the telescope was able to take an image that includes a section of the Sagittarius constellation.

NASA officials stated that the region captured was rendered "in exquisite detail," filled of deep red and bright blue stars scattered around the frame. Sagittarius, known as The Archer, has fascinating crosses seen in the brighter stars, which are called diffraction spikes. These crosses, according to NASA officials, have nothing to do with the stars themselves, nor are their presence due to atmospheric disturbance. However, the mirrors from the Hubble itself can diffract the incoming light, and therefore can come as crosses in photos.

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched into space in 1990. Since then, it has been taking pictures from space and remained unobstructed by the Earth's light pollution, atmosphere or weather. It has now serviced four missions in over 25 years, snapping -- as it does today -- images of the universe for the astronomers and scientists to study.

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