Galaxies galore glitter in this new image from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope has revolutionized astronomy since its launch in 1990. Offering a crystal-clear perspective of the Universe, well above rain clouds, light pollution and atmospheric distortions, the telescope has captured some stunning photos of the most distant stars and planets in our solar system. A new image from the telescope shows an intriguing spiral galaxy called Caldwell 5. This galaxy is about 11 million light-years from Earth. The image features the galaxy’s well-defined star arms spreading out from its yellow center.

The core of the galaxy has an active stellar school that can produce thousands of stars in a few million years.

Look at the picture here:

In this scintillating frontal image of the galaxy’s heart, tangled tendrils of dust can be seen twisting in stunning arms around a dazzling core of hot gas and stars. This nucleus is a type of region known as the H II nucleus, which is an ionized region of atomic hydrogen. Thousands of stars can form in these intense star birthplaces over the course of a few million years. Each young, very hot blue star produces ultraviolet light that further ionizes the gas around it, according to a NASA blog post.

Despite its relatively bright magnitude of 8.4, Caldwell 5 does not stand out from the sky. It appears at the equator of the Milky Way’s pearly disk, which is obscured by thick cosmic gas, dark dust, and bright stars. As a result, astronomers must stare across light-years of space full of obstructions to appreciate the galaxy’s complexity. Therefore, Caldwell 5 is also known as the Hidden Galaxy.

Caldwell 5 would be one of the brightest galaxies in our sky if it weren’t obscured by so much interstellar matter. It is a small galaxy about 50,000 light-years and billions of years across.

William Frederick Denning, a British amateur astronomer, discovered Caldwell 5 in the early 1890s, according to NASA. Located in the constellation Camelopardalis, Caldwell 5 is best seen between late fall and early winter in the northern hemisphere. Only people living near the equator in the southern hemisphere can see it low in the northern sky in late spring or early summer.

The hidden galaxy, as its name suggests, can be difficult to spot, especially when the sky is light polluted or even slightly foggy or hazy. Galaxies galore glitter in this new image from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope

Ryan Sederquist

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