Science and Exploration

Hubble Views Galaxy IC 1776

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
September 9, 2023
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Hubble Views Galaxy IC 1776
Galaxy IC 1776

The swirls of the galaxy IC 1776 stand in splendid isolation in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This galaxy lies over 150 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Pisces.

IC 1776 recently played host to a catastrophically violent explosion — a supernova — which was discovered in 2015 by the Lick Observatory Supernova Search, a robotic telescope which scours the night sky in search of transient phenomena such as supernovae. A network of automatic robotic telescopes are spread across the globe, operated by both professional and amateur astronomers, and, without human intervention, reveal short-lived astronomical phenomena such as wandering asteroids, gravitational microlensing, or supernovae.

Hubble investigated the aftermath of the supernova SN 2015ap during two different observing programmes, both designed to comb through the debris left by supernovae explosions in order to better understand these energetic events. A variety of telescopes automatically follow up the detection of supernovae to obtain early measurements of these events’ brightnesses and spectra. Complementing these measurements with later observations which reveal the lingering energy of supernovae can shed light on the systems which gave rise to these cosmic cataclysms in the first place.

[Image description: A spiral galaxy. It is irregularly-shaped and its spiral arms are difficult to distinguish. The edges are faint and the core has a pale yellow glow. It is dotted with small, wispy, blue regions where stars are forming. A few stars and small galaxies in warm colours are visible around it.]

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Filippenko Larger image

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