Nasa unveils stunning image of a ‘peculiar galaxy’ going through a wild ‘starburst’ phase

NASA has shared a stunning new image of an unusual galaxy going through a “starburst” phase.

The US space agency took to Instagram on Thursday to share the stunning photo recently taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Nasa captured an image of a distant starburst galaxy "in burning red"


Nasa captured an image of a distant starburst galaxy “in fiery red.”Credit: Instagram/@nasa

Visible in the image is an irregular dwarf galaxy called NGC 1705.

The galaxy is located in the southern constellation of Pictor, about 17 million light-years from Earth.

Irregular dwarf galaxies “are similar to some of the earliest galaxies to dot the universe.”

As such, they contain few elements other than hydrogen or helium.

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In its post, NASA describes the galaxy as a “cosmic oddity” due to its irregular shape and small size.

NGC 1705 has also recently undergone a surge in star formation known as the starburst phase, the US space agency said.

In a starburst galaxy, the rate of star formation is so high that the galaxy will use up all of its gas reservoirs in a much shorter time than the age of the galaxy.

Today it is quite rare to discover starburst galaxies, although astronomers have found that they were very common in the early days of the Universe.

Therefore, this particular image is important as it will help scientists observe the interactions between stars, star clusters and ionized gas in star-forming galaxies.

Hubble captured the red-toned photo with his Wide Field Camera 3.

“By observing a specific wavelength of light, known as H-alpha, with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3, astronomers hoped to discover thousands of emission nebulae,” Nasa said in a statement.

Emission nebulae describe regions formed when “hot, young stars bathe surrounding gas clouds in ultraviolet light, causing them to glow.”

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Ever since it went live on Instagram, this stunning image has garnered a lot of attention from astronomy lovers.

So far, nearly 400,000 users have liked the image, and hundreds of others have left comments.

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Chris Barrese

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