Fine-tuning galaxies with Herschel and Spitzer

Nov 19, 2012
Fine-tuning galaxies with Herschel and Spitzer
Still image of Interactive Hubble Tuning Fork.

(Phys.org)—Galaxies come in all shapes and sizes: from those with compact fuzzy bulges or central bars to galaxies with winding spiral arms. Astronomer Edwin Hubble classified these different breeds of galaxies by means of a diagram known as the Hubble Tuning Fork.

The shape presents elliptical galaxies along the handle, and two different populations of spiral galaxies on the fork's 'prongs' to differentiate between spiral galaxies with a central bar, and those without.

The diagram also describes the shape of the galaxies. are positioned further along the handle towards the fork depending on how elongated they appear, while spiral galaxies are organised by how tightly wound their arms are.

Of course, there are always exceptions, and a separate class of 'irregular' galaxies conforms to neither group, perhaps as a result of a collision or merging event disrupting their shape.

In this interactive tuning fork diagram, 61 nearby galaxies studied by ESA's Herschel and NASA's Spitzer space telescopes are presented. The galaxies are located 10–100 million light-years from Earth and were surveyed as part of two programmes: the Key Insights on Nearby Galaxies: a Far- with Herschel (Kingfish) and the Spitzer Infrared Survey (Sings).

Rather than stars, the images show dust between them that is gently heated by hot young stars, visible only to heat-seeking such as Herschel and Spitzer.

Each individual image is a three-color composite showing warm dust (blue) detected by Spitzer at 24 microns, and cooler dust traced by Herschel at 100 microns (green) and 250 microns (red).

By clicking on each of the galaxies, more information is provided about their classification, distance, size and location in the sky.

The galaxies were chosen to cover a wide range of characteristics to improve our understanding of the processes linking star formation to the local interstellar environment in the nearby Universe.

Explore further: Continents may be a key feature of Super-Earths

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A spiral galaxy in Hydra

Apr 09, 2012

(Phys.org) -- This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows NGC 4980, a spiral galaxy in the southern constellation of Hydra. The shape of NGC 4980 appears slightly deformed, something which is ...

Herschel and Spitzer see nearby galaxies' stardust

Jan 10, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- The cold dust that builds blazing stars is revealed in new images that combine observations from the Herschel Space Observatory, a European Space Agency-led mission with important NASA contributions; ...

Hubble captures image of the Arp 274 group of galaxies

Aug 25, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Arp 274, also known as NGC 5679, is a system of three galaxies that appear to be partially overlapping in the image, although they may be at somewhat different distances. The spiral shapes ...

Most elliptical galaxies are 'like spirals'

Jun 20, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The majority of 'elliptical' galaxies are not spherical but disc-shaped, resembling spiral galaxies such as our own Milky Way with the gas and dust removed, new observations suggest.

Hubble image of galaxies' El Dorado

Mar 12, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has produced this beautiful image of the galaxy NGC 1483. NGC 1483 is a barred spiral galaxy located in the southern constellation of Dorado — the dolphinfish ...

Recommended for you

Quest for extraterrestrial life not over, experts say

17 hours ago

The discovery of an Earth-sized planet in the "habitable" zone of a distant star, though exciting, is still a long way from pointing to the existence of extraterrestrial life, experts said Friday. ...

Continents may be a key feature of Super-Earths

21 hours ago

Huge Earth-like planets that have both continents and oceans may be better at harboring extraterrestrial life than those that are water-only worlds. A new study gives hope for the possibility that many super-Earth ...

Exoplanets soon to gleam in the eye of NESSI

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —The New Mexico Exoplanet Spectroscopic Survey Instrument (NESSI) will soon get its first "taste" of exoplanets, helping astronomers decipher their chemical composition. Exoplanets are planets ...

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Tuxford
1 / 5 (8) Nov 19, 2012
Where are the giant ellipticals? They should be off diagram to the right. Spirals grow into giant ellipticals from within. Before you mark me down, read the evidence, and then attempt to muster just a bit of logic, rather than science dogma.

http://phys.org/n...022.html

http://phys.org/n...ync.html

cantdrive85
1 / 5 (7) Nov 19, 2012
Anthony Peratt used computer simulations to create many of the observed formations of galaxies.

http://public.lan...S-II.pdf

There's more here;
http://public.lan...PS-I.pdf
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (5) Nov 19, 2012
@ Tuxford: The diagram doesn't conform to current models of galaxy formation pathways what I know of.

And no, bulges aren't what ellipticals are made out of, see the usual simulations of galactic collision and growth on youtube.

@ cantdrive85: Peratt is a plasma physicist, not making astronomical models of galaxy formation out of the known physics, such as the Eris model.

Such EU/PC religion has nothing to do with science except as it is confusing people. Stop trolling/take the crap to your religious blogs depending on if you are inane or insane.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (5) Nov 19, 2012
Myopic dogma is not part of the scientific method, as such Tor, back to the grill, your customers would like their burgers.

More news stories

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.