Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Space Travel News .




SPACE SCOPES
A galaxy of deception
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Sep 26, 2014


This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows a cosmic oddity, dwarf galaxy DDO 68. This ragged collection of stars and gas clouds looks at first glance like a recently-formed galaxy in our own cosmic neighbourhood. But, is it really as young as it looks? Image courtesy NASA, ESA.

Astronomers usually have to peer very far into the distance to see back in time, and view the Universe as it was when it was young. This new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of galaxy DDO 68, otherwise known as UGC 5340, was thought to offer an exception. This ragged collection of stars and gas clouds looks at first glance like a recently-formed galaxy in our own cosmic neighbourhood. But, is it really as young as it looks?

Astronomers have studied galactic evolution for decades, gradually improving our knowledge of how galaxies have changed over cosmic history. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has played a big part in this, allowing astronomers to see further into the distance, and hence further back in time, than any telescope before it - capturing light that has taken billions of years to reach us.

Looking further into the very distant past to observe younger and younger galaxies is very valuable, but it is not without its problems for astronomers. All newly-born galaxies lie very far away from us and appear very small and faint in the images. On the contrary, all the galaxies near to us appear to be old ones.

DDO 68, captured here by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, was one of the best candidates so far discovered for a newly-formed galaxy in our cosmic neighbourhood. The galaxy lies around 39 million light-years away from us; although this distance may seem huge, it is in fact roughly 50 times closer than the usual distances to such galaxies, which are on the order of several billions of light years.

By studying galaxies of various ages, astronomers have found that those early in their lives are fundamentally different from those that are older. DDO 68 looks to be relatively youthful based on its structure, appearance, and composition. However, without more detailed modelling astronomers cannot be sure and they think it may be older than it lets on.

Elderly galaxies tend to be larger thanks to collisions and mergers with other galaxies that have bulked them out, and are populated with a variety of different types of stars - including old, young, large, and small ones.

Their chemical makeup is different too. Newly-formed galaxies have a similar composition to the primordial matter created in the Big Bang (hydrogen, helium and a little lithium), while older galaxies are enriched with heavier elements forged in stellar furnaces over multiple generations of stars.

DDO 68 is the best representation yet of a primordial galaxy in the local Universe as it appears at first glance to be very low in heavier elements - whose presence would be a sign of the existence of previous generations of stars.

Hubble observations were carried out in order to study the properties of the galaxy's light, and to confirm whether or not there are any older stars in DDO 68. If there are, which there seem to be, this would disprove the hypothesis that it is entirely made up of young stars. If not, it would confirm the unique nature of this galaxy.

More complex modelling is needed before we can know for sure but Hubble's picture certainly gives us a beautiful view of this unusual object.

The image is made up of exposures in visible and infrared light taken with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys.

.


Related Links
Hubble Space Telescope
Space Telescope News and Technology at Skynightly.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





SPACE SCOPES
Black hole seeking telescope will be carried by giant balloon
Fort Sumner, N.M. (UPI) Sep 13, 2014
Scientists from NASA's Scientific Balloon Facility and Washington University in St. Louis will soon launch a telescope with a giant balloon, planning the launch for sometime later this month. Reaching heights of around 120,000 feet, the balloon will carry a polarimeter telescope meant to search for black holes. A polarimeter telescope measures a powerful kind of X-Ray that is emi ... read more


SPACE SCOPES
Arianespace's lightweight Vega launcher is readied for its mission with the European IXV spaceplane

Soyuz Rocket Awaiting Launch at Baikonur Cosmodrome

Elon Musk, Rick Perry attend groundbreaking for Texas spaceport

France raises heat on decision for next Ariane rocket

SPACE SCOPES
Why India went to Mars

Back to Driving

India Mars mission enters orbit

India wins Asia's Mars race as spacecraft enters orbit

SPACE SCOPES
Russia to Launch Full-Scale Moon Exploration Next Decade

Lunar explorers will walk at higher speeds than thought

Year's final supermoon is a Harvest Moon

China Aims for the Moon, Plans to Bring Back Lunar Soil

SPACE SCOPES
One Last Slumber

Democracy has spoken, Pluto should be a planet

Miranda: An Icy Moon Deformed by Tidal Heating

Awaiting New Results on Pluto's Atmosphere

SPACE SCOPES
Distant planet's atmosphere shows evidence of water vapor

Chandra Finds Planet That Makes Star Act Deceptively Old

Solar System Simulation Reveals Planetary Mystery

'Hot Jupiters' provoke their own host suns to wobble

SPACE SCOPES
Analyst: US to Finish Human Space Launcher by 2018 at Best

Amazon founder strikes deal to build US rocket engines

Boeing, SpaceX to send astronauts to space station

Space Launch System Will Use Massive Welding Tool

SPACE SCOPES
Astronauts eye China's future space station

China eyes working with other nations as station plans develop

China completes construction of advanced space launch facility

China to launch second space lab in 2016: official

SPACE SCOPES
Asteroid named for University of Utah makes public debut

Dawn Operating Normally After Safe Mode Triggered

'J' marks the spot for Rosetta's lander

'J' marks the spot for historic comet landing




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.