An insect-shaped head emerges from the jumble of stars in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope of irregular dwarf galaxy DDO 190.
Explore the crowded jumble of stars. What pictures or stories do you see? Leave a note in the comments below.
DDO 190 is called a dwarf irregular galaxy because it lacks clear structure. Unlike a spiral galaxy, like our own Milky Way Galaxy, DDO 190 has no spiral arms. Starting from the outskirts of the small galaxy, older, reddish stars dominate the scene. But as we move inward, younger, blue stars begin to appear. Pockets of glowing gas, areas where new stars are being created, dot the entire galaxy. The most noticeable of these is the butterfly-shaped area at the bottom (what makes the mouth of our head in my imagination).
Scattered throughout the image look for more distant galaxies; galaxies with more regular spiral or elliptical shapes and indistinct shapes.
DDO 190 is within the Messier 94 galaxy group but it is fairly alone in its area of space. While our Milky Way has many companions, such as the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, and the relatively nearby Andromeda Galaxy at two million light-years away, DDO 190 is alone. The closest galaxy to this tiny dwarf galaxy is thought to be no more than three million light-years away. DDO 190, discovered by Canadian astronomer Sidney van der Bergh in 1959, is found about 9 million light-years from Earth toward the constellations Canes Venatici (Hunting Dogs) and Coma Berenices (Queen Berenice’s Hair).
Galaxies collide to form this highly disturbed “V” in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of interacting galaxy IC 883.
What other shapes do you see in the star clouds that make up this galaxy? Explore the complex central region. Two tidal tails shoot off at right angles to each other; the remnants of two gas-rich galaxies. The gas and dust from the tails gets stretched and spun out during the merger. The collision seems to have triggered intense star formation within the chaotic and stretched core. Look for the bright blue star clusters amid the dark During galactic mergers, gas and dust get stretched and pulled. Some of this material clumps together and begins to smash together under gravity. If enough material comes together, a star can form. Zoom in on the dozens of elliptical and spiral galaxies in the distant background of IC 883.
IC 883, is located about 300 million light-years from Earth toward the constellation Canes Venatici, the Hunting Dogs of Bootes.
Some sort of cosmic animal glances over its starry shoulder at a bubble of gas and stars in this image of NGC 4214 from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
What stories or pictures do you see hiding in this image? Leave a note below.
Explore the innards of NGC 4214, a nearby dwarf galaxy. From glowing clouds of gas and dust to the clusters of hot blue stars the clouds create, you can track each step of a star’s evolution. Near the outer edges of the irregular galaxy, yellowish middle aged stars dominate the scene. But scattered throughout the galaxy, strong ultraviolet radiation from young stars causes the nebulae to glow. The stars also stream with fast stellar wind that plows into the surrounding gas blowing bubbles in the nebula. At the center of the galaxy, look for a vast heart-shaped bubble. A cluster of young, hot stars, each more than 10,000 times brighter than our Sun, is causing a cavity to form. These massive stars will live short lives. Within a few million years they will burn through their hydrogen fuel and explode as supernovae. Another huge star-making complex of glowing green gas and dust is seen in the upper part of the image; what I see as a horse-type head glancing over a shoulder.
NGC 4214 is considered a dwarf galaxy because of its tiny size compared to our Milky Way Galaxy. The small galaxy still contains millions of stars. It also lacks an overall structure with no disk nor spiral arms. The galaxy is found about 10 million light-years from Earth in the northern constellation Canes Venatici, the Hunting Dogs.
Dwarf galaxy NGC 4449 is home to a massive star-formation explosion. Scientists call this intense period of star-making a starburst. Astronomers believe the increase was likely triggered by a close interaction or merger with a smaller companion.
Explore the image from the tip of the head at the left to the tail on the right. Hundreds of thousands of red and blue stars blaze this galaxy. Huge bluish-white clusters of massive stars are seen scattered throughout. Reddish clouds of interstellar gas and dust show regions of current star formation. The stars are redder here because the dust clouds between us are thick. Thicker dust clouds are silhouetted against the galactic starlight.
NGC 4449 is part of a group of galaxies in the small, northern constellation Canes Venatici that is only 12.5 million light years from Earth; right in the neighborhood of the Milky Way. Canes Venatici was created by Johnannes Hevelius in the 17th century. The name is Latin for hunting dogs, representing the mythological dogs Chara and Asterion being held by the neighboring constellation BoÃ¶tes, the Herdsman.