Hubble Space Telescope snaps a radiant image of barred spiral galaxy

Don't write off the Hubble Space Telescope as yet, the old faithful has just captured a beautiful barred galaxy.

| Updated on: Dec 17 2022, 08:42 IST
Top NASA tech that solved Mars myths and mysteries like never before
1/10 Humans have been studying Mars for hundred of years. In 1609, Galileo was the first person to peer through a telescope and get a more intimate image of what many could only have dreamed of. (Pixabay)
2/10 An up close and personal view of the red planet emerged as time progressed and so did the capabilities of telescopes. In fact, from the late 1800s to the mid 1900s, many astronomers believed that Mars was home to majestic seas and lush areas of vegetation. The Dark markings on Mars surface were once believed to be caused by vegetation growing and dying. (Pixabay)
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3/10 Some even believed that intelligent life existed on Mars just because of what they saw through their simple telescopes. But that is exactly was science is about-you make educated guesses based on what you know, then change your ideas based on what you learn. (NASA)
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4/10 Now, thanks to new sophisticated equipment and robotic visits to Mars, it turns out they were caused by Martian wind. It was not until the 1960s, when NASA's Mariner missions flew by and snapped pictures of Mars that many of the myths about the red planet were dispelled. (NASA)
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5/10 That does not make Mars any less interesting. The possibility that life actually existed once on Mars is still a distinct possibility. Or it may even be existing on Mars today! No, not in the form of little green men, but on a microbial level. (NASA)
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6/10 Now, taking pictures is great and all. But nothing is better than getting to know the real thing. So, to get a better feel of Mars, Scientists and engineers built some nifty technologies, from spacecrafts to reach Mars and rovers (vehicles) to actually trundle and explore the planet. (NASA/JPL)
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7/10 Among the earliest tech deployed for Mars was Phoenix. It was launched on August 4, 2007 and so began its 9-month long, 681 Million km journey to the legendary red planet. Now, landing on a planet is not as easy as simply dropping a spacecraft onto it. There is actually a lot of steps to the process. (NASA)
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8/10 On May 25, 2008, Phoenix entered Mars atmosphere. It used its heat shield to slow down the high speed entry of 5600 meters per second or around 12500 miles per hour. It released a supersonic PARACHUTE, then detached from its parachute and used its rocket engines to land safely on the planet's surface. Phoenix' landing spot was further north and closer to the ice covered poles than any spacecraft has ever been before. (NASA)
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9/10 Phoenix had two primary goals: One was to study the history of water in the Martian arctic and the other was to search for evidence of a habitual zone and assess the biological potential of the ice soil boundary. And to do that the spacecraft was packed full of gizmos and gadgets to perform all sets of experiments and tests. One of these gizmos was a robotic arm with a shovel attached. It was used to dig up samples of the martian soil for experiments! (NASA)
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10/10 Another top tech on the Mars surface was the Surface Stereo Imager, which is really just a fancy name for the camera. Three surface stereo imagers were Phoenix' eye. Engineers built the device with two optical lenses that would allow for a three dimensional view, just like our eyes. And the SSI sent back some amazing images of the martian landscape. (Source: NASA/Justin Tully) (NASA)
Spiral Galaxy
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The James Webb Space Telescope is not the only one making waves with its exploits. Just check out what the Hubble Telescope just did. (NASA)

The James Webb Space Telescope may well be looking farther back in time than the old veteran Hubble Space Telescope ever could with its dated technology, but that is not stopping it from unveiling awesome new secrets out there in deep space. And yes, Bubble Telescope has done it again.

Barred spiral galaxies are latecomers to the Universe. Many spiral galaxies have bars across their centers. A barred galaxy is easily distinguishable because of its well-defined central bar and long arms, which spiral loosely around its nucleus. As revealed by surveys, about two-thirds of spiral galaxies, including our own Milky Way galaxy, contain a bar.

Recent studies have shown that bars are more common in galaxies now than they were in the past, which gives us important clues about galaxy formation and evolution.

It has just captured the blue swirls of a spiral galaxy NGC 6956, shining quite radiantly against an inky black backdrop.

NGC 6956 is a barred spiral galaxy, a common type of spiral galaxy with a bar-shaped structure of stars in its center. This galaxy exists 214 million light-years away in the constellation Delphinus. While it is quite beautiful, images like these serve a very useful purpose.

Scientists used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to image NGC 6956 to study its Cepheid variable stars. Those stars brighten and dim at regular periods.

NASA says, "Since the period of Cepheid variable stars is a function of their brightness, scientists can measure how bright these stars appear from Earth and compare it to their actual brightness to calculate their distance. As a result, these stars are extremely useful in determining the distance of cosmic objects, which is one of the hardest pieces of information to measure for extragalactic objects."

This galaxy also contains a Type Ia supernova, which is an explosion of a white dwarf star that was gradually accreting matter from a companion star.

Scientists can use the measurements gleaned from Cepheid variable stars and Type Ia supernovae to refine our understanding of the rate of expansion of the universe, also known as the Hubble Constant.

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First Published Date: 17 Dec, 08:42 IST