Newborn stars glow in a galaxy 80 million lightyears from Earth

The colours observed in a galaxy can tell astronomers a lot about the processes occurring within.

Published: November 2, 2019 at 2:22 pm
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Galaxy IC 4653. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, D. Rosario (CEA, Durham University)

Galaxy IC 4653 is about 80 million lightyears away, meaning that when astronomers observe it, they are seeing the galaxy as it existed 80 million years ago.

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We can learn a lot from a galaxy by looking at it, such as the bright blue pockets that pepper its spiralling arms.

These mark regions of star formation, as younger stars generally burn much fiercer than older stars and glow bright blue as a result.

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  • Observatory Hubble Space Telescope
  • Release date 21 October 2019
  • Image credit ESA/Hubble & NASA, D. Rosario (CEA, Durham University)

Authors

Iain Todd, BBC Sky at Night Magazine
Iain ToddScience journalist

Iain Todd is BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Content Editor. He fell in love with the night sky when he caught his first glimpse of Orion, aged 10.

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