PHOTO OF THE DAY: NASA’s Hubble Telescope Spots Neighbor Galaxy 28.7 Million Light-Years Away
By NASA information center // August 27, 2023
NASA & SPACE NEWS
(NASA) – The galaxy ESO 300-16 looms over this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This galaxy, which lies 28.7 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Eridanus, is a ghostly assemblage of stars that resembles a sparkling cloud.
Other distant galaxies and foreground stars complete this astronomical portrait, which was captured by the Advanced Camera for Surveys.
This observation is one of a series that aims to get to know our galactic neighbors.
Hubble has observed around three-quarters of known galaxies within about 10 megaparsecs of Earth in enough detail to resolve their brightest stars and establish distances to these galaxies.
A team of astronomers proposed using small gaps in Hubble’s observing schedule to acquaint ourselves with the remaining quarter of these nearby galaxies.
The megaparsec – meaning one million parsecs – is a unit used by astronomers to chart the mind-bogglingly large distances involved in astronomy.
The motion of Earth around the Sun means that stars appear to slightly shift against very distant stars over the course of a year.
This small shift is referred to as parallax and is measured in angular units: degrees, minutes, and seconds. One parsec is equivalent to the distance creating a parallax of one-arcsecond and is equivalent to 3.26 light-years or 30.9 trillion kilometers (19.2 trillion miles). The closest star to the Sun is Proxima Centauri, which lies 1.3 parsecs away.
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