Glitter galaxy through Hubble's eye

Dec 03, 2012
Galaxy ESO 318-13. Credits: ESA/Hubble & NASA

(Phys.org)—The brilliant cascade of stars through the middle of this image is the galaxy ESO 318-13 as seen by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Despite being millions of light-years from Earth, the stars captured in this image are so bright and clear you could almost attempt to count them.

Although ESO 318-13 is the main event in this image, it is sandwiched between a vast collection of bright . Several stars near and far dazzle in comparison to the neat dusting contained within the galaxy.

One that particularly stands out is near the centre of the image, and looks like an extremely bright star located within the galaxy. This is, however, a trick of perspective. The star is actually in the Milky Way, our own Galaxy, and it shines so brightly because it is so much closer to us than ESO 318-13.

There are also a number of tiny glowing discs scattered throughout the frame that are more distant galaxies. In the top right corner, an can be clearly seen, a galaxy which is much larger but more distant than ESO 318-13.

More interestingly, peeking through ESO 318-13, near the right-hand edge of the image, is a distant spiral galaxy.

Galaxies are largely empty space – the stars within them only take up a small volume. Providing a galaxy is not too dusty, it can be largely transparent to light coming from the background. This makes overlapping galaxies like these quite common.

Explore further: The changing laws that determine how dust affects the light that reaches us from the stars

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hubble sees a spiral within a spiral

May 28, 2012

(Phys.org) -- NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured this image of the spiral galaxy known as ESO 498-G5. One interesting feature of this galaxy is that its spiral arms wind all the way into the center, so ...

Hubble eyes a loose spiral galaxy

Nov 26, 2012

(Phys.org)—The Hubble Space Telescope has spotted the spiral galaxy ESO 499-G37, seen here against a backdrop of distant galaxies, scattered with nearby stars.

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 ...

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 ...

Image: Galaxy at the edge

Aug 30, 2010

Spiral galaxy NGC 4921 presently is estimated to be 320 million light years distant.

Hubble spots a colorful lenticular galaxy

Nov 12, 2012

(Phys.org)—The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured a beautiful galaxy that, with its reddish and yellow central area, looks rather like an explosion from a Hollywood movie. The galaxy, called NGC ...

Recommended for you

ESO image: A study in scarlet

12 hours ago

This new image from ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile reveals a cloud of hydrogen called Gum 41. In the middle of this little-known nebula, brilliant hot young stars are giving off energetic radiation that ...

Astronomers: 'Tilt-a-worlds' could harbor life

Apr 15, 2014

A fluctuating tilt in a planet's orbit does not preclude the possibility of life, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington, Utah's Weber State University and NASA. In fact, ...

Pushy neighbors force stellar twins to diverge

Apr 15, 2014

(Phys.org) —Much like an environment influences people, so too do cosmic communities affect even giant dazzling stars: Peering deep into the Milky Way galaxy's center from a high-flying observatory, Cornell ...

Image: Multiple protostars within IRAS 20324+4057

Apr 14, 2014

(Phys.org) —A bright blue tadpole appears to swim through the inky blackness of space. Known as IRAS 20324+4057 but dubbed "the Tadpole", this clump of gas and dust has given birth to a bright protostar, ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

gromm1t2
not rated yet Jan 24, 2013
Still, why can we see individual stars in this galaxy? Is it closer than Andromeda or is lensing occurring or something else?
yyz
not rated yet Jan 24, 2013
"why can we see individual stars in this galaxy?"

This small galaxy is a member of the M 83 galaxy group which, although more distant that the Andromeda Galaxy, still lies close enough for Hubble to resolve its brightest stars. NASA's Extragalactic Database(NED) gives the distance to ESO 318-13 as ~6.8 Mpc (the distance to Andromeda is ~780 kpc for comparison).

Remember too that most of the stars in this galaxy (dwarfs and subdwarfs) are too faint to see in this image.

More news stories

Meteorites yield clues to Martian early atmosphere

(Phys.org) —Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study, published ...

Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical ...

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.

Researchers see hospitalization records as additional tool

Comparing hospitalization records with data reported to local boards of health presents a more accurate way to monitor how well communities track disease outbreaks, according to a paper published April 16 in the journal PLOS ON ...

Ebola virus in Africa outbreak is a new strain

The Ebola virus that has killed scores of people in Guinea this year is a new strain—evidence that the disease did not spread there from outbreaks in some other African nations, scientists report.