Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hubble 'traps' a vermin galaxy

06.06.2017

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is famous for its jaw-dropping snapshots of the cosmos. At first glance this Picture of the Week appears to be quite the opposite, showing just a blur of jagged spikes, speckled noise, and weird, clashing colors -- but once you know what you are looking at, images like this one are no less breathtaking.

This shows a distant galaxy -- visible as the smudge to the lower right -- as it begins to align with and pass behind a star sitting nearer to us within the Milky Way. This is an event known as a transit. The star is called HD 107146, and it sits at the center of the frame.


This shows a distant galaxy -- visible as the smudge to the lower right -- as it begins to align with and pass behind a star sitting nearer to us within the Milky Way. This is an event known as a transit. The star is called HD 107146, and it sits at the center of the frame. Its light has been blocked in this image to make its immediate surroundings and the faint galaxy visible -- the position of the star is marked with a green circle.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

Its light has been blocked in this image to make its immediate surroundings and the faint galaxy visible -- the position of the star is marked with a green circle.

The concentric orange circle surrounding HD 107146 is a circumstellar disk -- a disk of debris orbiting the star. In the case of HD 107146 we see the disk face-on. As this star very much resembles our sun, it is an interesting scientific target to study: its circumstellar disk could be analogous to the asteroids in our Solar System and the Kuiper belt.

A detailed study of this system is possible because of the much more distant galaxy -- nicknamed the "Vermin Galaxy" by some to reflect their annoyance at its presence -- as the star passes in front of it.

The unusual pairing was first observed in 2004 by Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys, and again in 2011 by Hubble's Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph.

The latter image is shown here, as the Vermin Galaxy began its transit behind HD 107146. The galaxy will not be fully obscured until around 2020, but interesting science can be done even while the galaxy is only partly obscured.

Light from the galaxy will pass through the star's debris disks before reaching our telescopes, allowing us to study the properties of the light and how it changes, and thus infer the characteristics of the disk itself.

Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Quantum optics allows us to abandon expensive lasers in spectroscopy
22.11.2017 | Lomonosov Moscow State University

nachricht Nano-watch has steady hands
22.11.2017 | University of Vienna

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Corporate coworking as a driver of innovation

22.11.2017 | Business and Finance

PPPL scientists deliver new high-resolution diagnostic to national laser facility

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Quantum optics allows us to abandon expensive lasers in spectroscopy

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>