Tech UPTechnologyMessier 91, in great detail thanks to Hubble

Messier 91, in great detail thanks to Hubble


The impressive image that NASA has published of the barred spiral galaxy Messier 91 has been thanks, once again, to our incombustible Hubble Space Telescope (from NASA/ESA).

This galaxy is approximately 56 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Coma Berenices. It is also known as M91, NGC 4548, IRAS 12328+1446, and LEDA 41934 and is classified as a barred spiral galaxy.

Its discoverer was the French astronomer Charles Messier who, in 1781, described it as a starless nebula, fainter than Messier 90. Messier 91 is located in the local supercluster and is part of the Virgo cluster of galaxies.

“While Messier 91’s prominent bar is a spectacular galactic portrait, it also hides an astronomical monstrosity,” the Hubble astronomers said. Like our own galaxy, Messier 91 contains a supermassive black hole at its center”, explain those responsible for Hubble.

In the spectacular new Hubble image, we see Messier 91 from a range of Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) observations in the ultraviolet, near-infrared, and optical parts of the spectrum. In total, five filters were used to sample various wavelengths.

As we have already explained on other occasions, the color that we see in these snapshots is the result of assigning different tones to each monochrome image associated with a specific filter.

“This observation is part of an effort to build a trove of astronomical data exploring the connections between young stars and the clouds of cold gas in which they form,” the researchers said. To do this, we use Hubble to obtain ultraviolet and visible observations of galaxies already seen at radio wavelengths by the ground-based Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA),” the astronomers continue.


Referencia: NASA / ESA / Hubble / J. Lee / PHANGS-HST Team.

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