Hubble Space Telescope gets up close and personal with our neighbours
By getting to know our neighbours out in space, astronomers can determine what types of stars reside in various nearby galaxies and Hubble Space Telescope is helping map out the local structure of the Universe.
Recently NASA has released an image of galaxy LEDA 48062 in the constellation Perseus by the Hubble Space Telescope. In the Image, LEDA 48062 is the faint, sparse, amorphous galaxy on the right side of the image, and it is accompanied by a more sharply defined neighbor on the left, the large, disc-like lenticular galaxy UGC 8603. A smattering of more distant galaxies also litters the background, and a handful of foreground stars are also visible throughout the image.
The center of attraction in the image are stars surrounded by four sharp points. These points are called diffraction spikes, and are created when starlight diffracts or spreads around, the support structures inside reflecting telescopes like Hubble. The four spikes are due to the four thin vanes supporting Hubble's secondary mirror and are only noticeable for bright objects like stars where a lot of light is concentrated on one spot. Darker, more spread-out objects like the galaxies LEDA 48062 and UGC 8603 do not possess visible diffraction spikes.
Hubble Space Telescope spent some time with our galactic neighbors. LEDA 48062 is only around 30 million light-years from the Milky Way Galaxy, and was therefore included in the observing campaign Every Known Nearby Galaxy. The aim of this campaign was to observe closely that it is getting close to every known galaxy within 10 megaparsecs (around 33 million light-years) of the Milky Way. The campaign continued further as by getting to know our galactic neighbors, the campaign benefited the astronomers as they can now determine what types of stars reside in various galaxies and also map out the local structure of the Universe.