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This breathtaking spiral galaxy is fascinating – the image required 9 hours of observation with the Hubble Space Telescope



Spiral Galaxy NGC 5643

Photo credit: ESA / Hubble & NASA, A. Riess et al. Recognition: Mahdi Zamani

This stunning picture of the NASA/ ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the spiral galaxy NGC 5643 in the constellation Lupus (The Wolf). Looking that good is not easy; It took 30 different exposures for a total observation time of 9 hours, as well as the high resolution and clarity of Hubble, to create an image of such great detail and beauty.

NGC 5643 is approximately 60 million light years from Earth and recently hosted a supernova event (not visible in this latest image). This supernova (2017cbv) was a specific type in which a white dwarf steals so much mass from a companion star that it becomes unstable and explodes. The explosion releases significant amounts of energy and illuminates this part of the galaxy.

The observation was suggested by Adam Riess, who, along with Saul Perlmutter and Brian Schmidt, received a Nobel Prize in Physics in 2011 for his contributions to the discovery of the accelerated expansion of the universe.




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