Messier 61 looks straight into Hubble's camera

Messier 61 looks straight into Hubble's camera
Credit: NASA/ESA

(Phys.org) —The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured this image of nearby spiral galaxy Messier 61, also known as NGC 4303. The galaxy, located only 55 million light-years away from Earth, is roughly the size of the Milky Way, with a diameter of around 100 000 light-years.

The galaxy is notable for one particular reason—six supernovae have been observed within Messier 61, a total that places it in the top handful of galaxies alongside Messier 83, also with six, and NGC 6946, with a grand total of nine observed supernovae.

In this Hubble image the galaxy is seen face-on as if posing for a photograph, allowing us to study its structure closely. The can be seen in stunning detail, swirling inwards to the very center of the galaxy, where they form a smaller, intensely bright spiral. In the outer regions, these vast arms are sprinkled with bright blue regions where new stars are being formed from hot, dense clouds of gas.

Messier 61 is part of the Virgo Galaxy Cluster, a massive group of galaxies in the constellation of Virgo (the Virgin). , or groups of galaxies, are among the biggest structures in the Universe to be held together by gravity alone. The Virgo Cluster contains more than 1300 galaxies and forms the central region of the Local Supercluster, an even bigger gathering of galaxies.

The image was taken using data from Hubble's 2.


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Citation: Messier 61 looks straight into Hubble's camera (2013, June 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-06-messier-straight-hubble-camera.html
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Jun 22, 2013
"Only" 55 million light years? Hardly a term that should be used to describe a massive distance.

Jun 24, 2013
for saying that the electric and magnetic field vectors in an EM wave were orthogonal.


That's what I was thinking too, but it's only about 5% as far as some of the things we can see.

The Virgo Cluster contains more than 1300 galaxies


That's a bit staggering. Espcially when you consider that travel between any two galaxies is virtually impossible. Even with travel at the speed of light, I cannot imagine a power supply that you could keep running for millions of years. Even a tiny % of waste heat would eventually drain your ship. Maybe if you freeze the entire ship and let it coast as a ghost ship, then fire it back up a couple million years later? I would guess you'd still have trouble with molecular migrations and such in the materials of your ship, and erosion from the intergalactic medium.

Jun 24, 2013
Sub: Heart and Center of Universe around 100,00 LY beyond milky Way
Information: Virgo Galaxy Cluster region at 55 M LY. six supernovae Messier 61,Messier 83, also with six, and NGC 6946, with nine observed supernovae.
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