Pink puffs of cloud created by supernovae explosions dominate this image from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.
Explore the glowing bubbles of IC 2574. What stories or patterns do you see? Leave a note below.
IC 2574 is also known as Coddington’s Nebula after American astronomer Edwin Coddington who discovered the galaxy in 1898. The pink shells of gas blown open by the supernovae are surrounded by blue stars. Supernovae explosions send shockwaves throughout the surrounding dust clouds smashing material together. This compression can cause new stars to form. The pink color comes from hydrogen gas that glows because of blistering radiation from the newborn stars.
Astronomers classify IC 2574 as a dwarf irregular galaxy. Instead of a clear structure, like the spiral structure of M51, IC 2574 has no organization. Astronomers study these types of galaxies because they give a hint at the earliest galaxies that formed in the Universe. Faraway in the background, look for the glow of scattered galaxies.
IC 2574 is found about 13 million light-years from Earth toward the constellation Ursa Major, the Great Bear or the Big Dipper. The small galaxy is part of the Messier 81 group of galaxies.