July 18, 2024
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Spiral galaxy NGC 1559 | Earth Blog

Spiral galaxy NGC 1559

About 50 million light-years away lies a small, somewhat overlooked galaxy called NGC 1559. Photographed here by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3, this barred spiral is located in the little-observed southern constellation of Reticulum. ).

NGC 1559 has huge spiral arms packed with star formation and is moving away from us at a speed of about 1,300 km/s. The galaxy contains the mass of about ten billion suns; Although this may seem like a lot, it is almost 100 times less massive than the Milky Way. Although NGC 1559 appears to be close to one of our closest neighbors in the sky: the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), this is just a trick of perspective. In reality, NGC 1559 is not physically close to the LMC in space; in fact, it is truly a lonely place, lacking the company of nearby galaxies or membership in any galaxy cluster.

Despite its lack of cosmic companions, when this lone galaxy has a telescope pointed in its direction, it puts on quite a spectacle! NGC 1559 has hosted a variety of spectacular exploding stars called supernovae, four of which we have observed: in 1984, 1986, 2005 and 2009 (SN 1984J, 1986L, 2005df (a Type Ia) and 2009ib (a Type II-P) . , with an unusually long plateau)).

NGC 1559 may be alone in space, but we are watching and admiring it from far away.

Image credit: ESA/Hubble and NASA
Explanation from: https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1806a/

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