Hubble Examines a Barred Spiral’s Light – NASA Science

Astronomers at NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) have captured a stunning image of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 3059, located approximately 57 million light-years away from Earth. This image was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 in May 2024 as part of a research program focusing on various galaxies.

Filters play a crucial role in astronomical observations, allowing scientists to study specific wavelengths of light associated with different physical and chemical processes. The data collected for this image utilized a narrow-band filter known as the H-alpha filter, which highlights regions of the galaxy where hydrogen atoms are emitting red light at a wavelength of 656.46 nanometers. These pinkish areas indicate the presence of newly forming stars within NGC 3059.

In addition to the H-alpha filter, data from five other wide-band filters were used to create this composite image. These filters provide a broader view of the galaxy, revealing bluish patches that contain older stars. By combining information from multiple filters, researchers can generate detailed and visually striking images like the one showcasing NGC 3059.

As astronomers continue to explore the vast universe, images like this serve as valuable tools for understanding the complexities of galaxies and the processes shaping their evolution. The collaboration between NASA and ESA enables scientists to uncover new insights into the mysteries of the cosmos, offering a glimpse into the beauty and diversity of the universe.

Keywords: Hubble Space Telescope, NGC 3059, barred spiral galaxy, astronomical observations, filters

Explore More with NASA to discover additional topics and fascinating insights into the wonders of space exploration.