Science and Exploration

Hubble Gazes Upon A Cosmic Wonderland

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
December 6, 2020
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Hubble Gazes Upon A Cosmic Wonderland
Galaxy SDSS J225506.80+005839.9

This large expanse of space captured with the Hubble Space Telescope features the galaxy SDSS J225506.80+005839.9.
Unlike many other extravagant galaxies and stunning nebulae imaged by Hubble, this galaxy does not have a short, popular name, and is only known by its long name given in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which refers to its coordinates in the sky. This galaxy – visible in the center right portion of the image – and its many wondrous neighboring galaxies lie in the constellation of Pisces (the Fish).

This is a post-starburst galaxy, which is a product of galaxies that have merged within the past billion years. This merger event drove gas to the galaxy’s center and created an abundance of new stars, of which the brightest are visible in the remnant galaxy’s core. The visible shells and tails surrounding the galaxy are also a result of this merger event.

Residing far beyond our own Milky Way at a distance of about 500 million light-years, it is almost impossible to glimpse this galaxy without the assistance of Hubble, and, like thousands of similar faint and very distant galaxies, it was only discovered and cataloged in recent years. Many millions of galaxies still await our discovery as we build a wondrous picture of our night sky.

Text credit: European Space Agency (ESA)
Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Zabludoff

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SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.