Hubble's frenzy of stars

March 5, 2018, NASA
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgements: Judy Schmidt

Discovered in 1900 by astronomer DeLisle Stewart and here imaged by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, IC 4710 is an undeniably spectacular sight. The galaxy is a busy cloud of bright stars, with bright pockets—marking bursts of new star formation—scattered around its edges.

IC 4710 is a dwarf irregular galaxy. As the name suggests, such galaxies are irregular and chaotic in appearance, lacking central bulges and arms—they are distinctly different from spirals or ellipticals. It is thought that irregular galaxies may once have been spirals or ellipticals, but became distorted over time through external gravitational forces during interactions or mergers with other galaxies. Dwarf irregulars in particular are important to our overall understanding of galactic evolution, as they are thought to be similar to the first that formed in the universe.

IC 4710 lies roughly 25 million light-years away in the southern constellation of Pavo (the Peacock). This constellation also contains the third-brightest globular cluster in the sky, NGC 6752, the spiral galaxy NGC 6744, and six known planetary systems (including HD 181433, which is host to a super-Earth).

The data used to create this image were gathered by Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS).

Explore further: Hubble peers at a distinctly disorganized dwarf galaxy

Related Stories

Hubble peers at a distinctly disorganized dwarf galaxy

April 4, 2016

Despite being less famous than their elliptical and spiral galactic cousins, irregular dwarf galaxies, such as the one captured in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, are actually one of the most common types of galaxy ...

Image: Hubble catches galaxies swarmed by star clusters

October 2, 2017

In the center of a rich cluster of galaxies located in the direction of the constellation of Coma Berenices, lies a galaxy surrounded by a swarm of star clusters. NGC 4874 is a giant elliptical galaxy, about ten times larger ...

Hubble spots a lopsided Lynx

August 15, 2016

This galaxy, known as NGC 2337, resides 25 million light-years away in the constellation of Lynx. NGC 2337 is an irregular galaxy, meaning that it—along with a quarter of all galaxies in the universe—lacks a distinct, ...

Hubble spots an irregular island in a sea of space

August 29, 2016

This image, courtesy of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), captures the glow of distant stars within NGC 5264, a dwarf galaxy located just over 15 million light-years away in the constellation ...

Hubble displays a dwarf spiral galaxy

August 14, 2017

The subject of this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is a dwarf galaxy named NGC 5949. Thanks to its proximity to Earth—it sits at a distance of around 44 million light-years from us, placing it within the Milky Way's ...

Recommended for you

NASA powers on new instrument staring at the Sun

March 16, 2018

NASA has powered on its latest space payload to continue long-term measurements of the Sun's incoming energy. Total and Spectral solar Irradiance Sensor (TSIS-1), installed on the International Space Station, became fully ...

Dawn reveals recent changes in Ceres' surface

March 15, 2018

Observations of Ceres have detected recent variations in its surface, revealing that the only dwarf planet in the inner solar system is a dynamic body that continues to evolve and change.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Thorium Boy
5 / 5 (1) Mar 06, 2018
The Hubble is one of the most productive science machines ever created. It cost $3 billion including its fix. The ISS has cost $180 billion and has yielded nothing, except the demise of the space Shuttle program.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.