Hubble locates a ghost galaxy
The Hubble Space Telescope was designed to free the astronomers had a limitation that affected them since the days of Galileo: the atmosphere of the Earth. Airbags changing the atmosphere block and distort light, limiting the view of even the most powerful tools for use on Earth.
The orbital telescopes function as eyes in the sky that allow astronomers to peer further into the universe and see the cosmos more clearly. Scientists began to dream of a telescope of its kind in the 40s, but had to wait more than four decades to m
ake those dreams come true with the Hubble Space Telescope. The original launch of the telescope in October 1986 was dismissed after the loss of the spacecraft Challenger.
When the telescope finally became operational in 1990, he began sending pictures unprecedented but flawed. Its images were superior to those of the instruments to be used on Earth but slightly blurred due to an optical problem.
Credit: NASA, ESA, P. Goudfrooij (STScI)
In December 1993, space shuttle Endeavour astronauts spent five days doing spacewalks to repair the telescope in orbit some 569 kilometers above the Earth. The repair worked, and Hubble began to deliver crystal clear images. And these days, Hubble telescope is doing a very well job discovering many galaxies and other kinds of planets, supernovas, asteroids and comets.
The ghost galaxy, that Hubble discovered, is at 270 million light years from Earth in the Centaurus constellation and it is classified as a lenticular galaxy, an object type that is more similar to spiral galaxies than the elliptic ones.
In this the orbiting telescope of NASA / ESA Hubble has captured the galaxy ESO 381-12, photographed behind a large number of other galaxies. Its structure, as you can see, is irregular, blurred, ghostly and pale. The cluster of stars that orbit around the galaxy ESO 381-12 tells us that must have been involved in a collision, most likely in a time not too far away. A galactic accident which led to the formation of a large number of new stars.
The galaxy is 270 million light years from Earth in the constellation Centaurus. ESO 381-12 is also known as PGC 42871 and is classified as a lenticular galaxy, a similar type of object – for some features – both spiral galaxies in that the elliptical.
The shell that surrounds the galaxy looks as if the petals that are blooming: This is very rare, even for the astronomers, these phenomena are almost a mystery. Experts believe that PGC 42871 may have recently interacted with another galaxy, sending shock waves through the structure just as the waves propagate in a pond. These galactic mergers are violent processes: the material inside them is completely destroyed and what remains radically changes appearance and how they will evolve in the future. And this violent event may have triggered a wave of star formation in the galaxy, leading to the creation of many hot young stars.
This galaxy, like many others, has been studied in detail as part of the Advanced Camera for Surveys Hubble astronomers have devoted their attention to the properties of the shells of galaxies that were formed during mergers billion years ago.