Hubble has snapped a ‘distinctly disorganised’ dwarf galaxy

4 Apr 201616 Shares

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NASA’s Hubble Telescope has captured an image of a dwarf galaxy with a difference, with its irregularity marking it out.

Situated in Ursa Major – alongside the likes of the Pinwheel Galaxy and the Owl Nebula – UGC 4459 lacks any distinct shape or structure, according to NASA. By that, NASA means it’s neither a spiral extending from a central star, or a nuclear bulge of tightly-packed stars.

“Rich with young blue stars and older red stars, UGC 4459 has a stellar population of several billion,” explained NASA, which makes it a fraction of the size of our Milky Way.

Dwarf galaxies produce far fewer stars from their original gas than other types of galaxies, which astronomers use to learn the make-up of galaxies all over the universe.

It makes for quite the collection of Ursa Major images, thanks largely to the Hubble programme.

UGC 4459 is situated on Ursa Major, via NASA/ESA

UGC 4459 is situated on Ursa Major, via NASA/ESA

The gigantic Pinwheel galaxy, one of the best known examples of “grand design spirals”, and its supergiant star-forming regions in unprecedented detail. Like UGC 4459, it’s situated on Ursa Major, via ESA/NASA

The gigantic Pinwheel galaxy, one of the best known examples of “grand design spirals”, and its supergiant star-forming regions in unprecedented detail. Like UGC 4459, it’s situated on Ursa Major, via ESA/NASA

The sharpest image ever taken of the large “grand design” spiral galaxy Messier 81, situated on Ursa Major, via NASA/ESA/STScI/AURA

The sharpest image ever taken of the large “grand design” spiral galaxy Messier 81, situated on Ursa Major, via NASA/ESA/STScI/AURA

10 years ago the NASA-ESA Hubble celebrated its first 16 years of success by releasing this mosaic image of the magnificent starburst galaxy, Messier 82, also situated on Ursa Major, image via NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI)

10 years ago, the NASA-ESA Hubble celebrated its first 16 years of success by releasing this mosaic image of the magnificent starburst galaxy, Messier 82, also situated on Ursa Major, image via NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI)

Gordon Hunt is senior communications and context executive at NDRC. He previously worked as a journalist with Silicon Republic.

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