NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 16 February 2023: Hydra galaxy cluster | Tech News

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 16 February 2023: Hydra galaxy cluster

NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is a stunning snapshot of the Hydra galaxy cluster which is located over 100 million light-years away.

| Updated on: Feb 16 2023, 13:16 IST
Top NASA Astronomy Pictures of the week: Nebulae to Comet ZTF, check them all
Hydra Galaxy Cluster
1/5 Rosette Nebula (Feb 6) - A breathtaking image of a nebula, which is around 5200 light-years away from Earth was featured as the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day on Feb 6. NASA says in the heart of the Rosette Nebula, there lies a bright cluster of stars that light up the nebula. NGC 2244's stars only formed a few million years ago from the surrounding gas. The center of the Rosette Nebula, visible through binoculars in the Monoceros constellation, measures about 50 light-years in diameter.  (NASA/Lyman Insley)
Hydra Galaxy Cluster
2/5 Rare Green Comet ZTF (Feb 7) - The Rare Green Comet ZTF passed Earth at its closest distance on February 1 after a period of nearly 50000 years. Along with the comet, two dippers - the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper can also be seen. The Big Dipper is a popular term used to describe the shape formed by the seven brightest stars in the constellation Ursa Major or the Great Bear.  (NASA/Petr Horalek/Institute of Physics in Opava)
Hydra Galaxy Cluster
3/5 Wind-Shaped Nebula (Feb 8) - NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day for Feb 8 is a mesmerizing snapshot of the Stellar Wind-Shaped Nebula RCW 58. It is located nearly 13000 light-years away in the constellation of Carina. The Nebula has a wolf star located in the center, a star which is 100 times as massive as our Sun, a million times more luminous, and with 30 times the surface temperature. When these stars expand, they eject high-speed stellar winds through their outer layer.  (NASA/Mike Selby/Mark Hanson)
Hydra Galaxy Cluster
4/5 Nacreous Clouds (Feb 9) - Nacreous Clouds are a type of rare Polar Stratospheric Clouds which form when unusually cold temperatures in the usually cloudless lower stratosphere form ice crystals. NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day on Feb 9 is of the stunning Nacreous Clouds visible in Swedish skies. They are formed in the lower Stratosphere at an altitude of about 15 KM to 25 KM. (NASA/ Dennis Lehtonen)
Hydra Galaxy Cluster
5/5 Comet ZTF meets Comet ATLAS (Feb 10) - NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day for Feb 10 is breathtaking picture of the Comet ZTF racing across the skies as it passed another comet named Comet C/2022 U2 (ATLAS) near the constellation Auriga. Captured on the night of February 6 from a garden observatory in Germany's Bavarian Forest, the starry field of view toward the constellation Auriga spans about 2.5 degrees.  (NASA/Stefan Bemmerl)
Hydra Galaxy Cluster
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The Hydra Galaxy Cluster is known to contain nearly 150 distant galaxies. (NASA/Marco Lorenzi/Angus Lau/Tommy Tse)

Most galaxies exist in groups or clusters with dozens or hundreds of members, and these cluster galaxies are all in constant motion, pulled and twisted by their neighbour's gravity. One such galaxy cluster is the Hydra Cluster of galaxies which is one of the three large galaxy clusters within 200 million light-years of the Milky Way. Galaxy clusters are the largest objects in the Universe bound by gravity and astronomers can use them to measure important cosmological properties, according to NASA.

NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a stunning snapshot of the Hydra Cluster of galaxies surrounded by millions of stars. According to NASA, the galaxy cluster is over 100 million light-years away in the constellation Hydra. Three large galaxies near the cluster center, two yellow ellipticals (NGC 3311, NGC 3309) and one prominent blue spiral (NGC 3312), are the dominant galaxies, each about 150,000 light-years in diameter. The credit of capturing this picture belongs to astronomers Marco Lorenzi, Angus Lau and Tommy Tse.

Instead of giving a description of the picture, NASA has dipped its toes in the field of AI and provided a poem based on the Hydra Galaxy Cluster which was created by popular AI chatbot ChatGPT.

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Poem based on Hydra Galaxy Cluster written by ChatGPT

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,

O'er volumes of astronomy and forgotten lore,

I stumbled upon this snapshot, cosmic and eerie,

A sight that filled my heart with awe and more.

Two stars, like sentinels, anchored the foreground,

Of our Milky Way galaxy, a sight to behold,

Beyond them, a cluster of Hydra, galaxies abound,

100 million light-years away, a story to be told.

Three large galaxies, ellipticals and a spiral blue,

Dominant and grand, each 150,000 light-years wide,

But it was the overlapping pair that caught my view,

Cataloged as NGC 3314, a sight I cannot hide.

Abell 1060, the Hydra galaxy cluster's name,

One of three large galaxy clusters close to our Milky Way,

A universe bound by gravity, a celestial game,

Where clusters align over larger scales, I cannot sway.

At a distance of 100 million light-years, this snapshot's size,

1.3 million light-years across, a cosmic delight,

A momentary glimpse into the universe's guise,

But even this shall fade, and be nevermore in sight.

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First Published Date: 16 Feb, 13:14 IST