Hubble Image Captures a Stunning Spiral Galaxy in Aquila | Digital Trends

This week’s image from the Hubble Space Telescope captures the glorious spiral galaxy UGC 11537, viewed at an angle that shows both its long spiral arms and the bright cluster of stars at its center. It is located 230 million light-years away in the constellation Aquila (Latin for “eagle”).

As well as being nice to look at, this image was compiled to further scientific knowledge about the huge black holes at the heart of the galaxy. “This image comes from a set of observations designed to help astronomers weigh supermassive black holes at the centers of distant galaxies,” say the Hubble scientists. wrote. “The acute Hubble observations coupled with data from ground-based telescopes allowed astronomers to make detailed models of the mass and motions of stars in these galaxies, which in turn helps limit the mass of supermassive black holes.” .

This astronomical portrait from the NASA / ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows an edge view of the majestic spiral galaxy UGC 11537. The infrared and visible light capabilities of Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 have captured the galaxy’s tight spiral arms spinning around your heart. The image reveals the bright bands of stars and dark dust clouds that spread throughout the galaxy. ESA / Hubble and NASA, A. Seth

Hubble is back online this week, with all four of its currently active instruments operational and collecting science data once again. The telescope was automatically placed in safe mode after a timing error in late October, but the error appears to have been unique. In the weeks since the error occurred, the Hubble team first turned on one of the oldest inactive instruments, then each of the currently active instruments one by one.

There have been no further bugs, but NASA has said the team is considering a software update in the future. This would allow the instruments to continue to function even if some sync messages were lost, which should prevent problems like this from happening in the future.

Hubble is getting old, it has been in operation for more than 30 years. It will soon be joined by the James Webb Space Telescope, to be launched in a few weeks, which will be its successor; however, the two telescopes have distinctly different specialties. Hubble observes mainly at the wavelength of visible light, while James Webb will observe mainly at the wavelength of infrared. So NASA plans to keep Hubble running as long as possible in addition to James Webb, and recently extended its operations contract until 2026.

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