Hubble Sees Group of Galaxies in Hercules

A new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows several spiral and irregular galaxies in the constellation of Hercules.

This Hubble image shows three galaxies LEDA 58109, SDSS J162558.14+435746.4, and SDSS J162557.25+435743.5. The color image is composed of infrared, optical and ultraviolet observations from Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) on the Victor M. Blanco 4-m Telescope, and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Nine filters were used to sample various wavelengths. The color results from assigning different hues to each monochromatic image associated with an individual filter. Image credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble/W. Keel.

“Galaxy classification is sometimes presented as something of a dichotomy: spiral and elliptical,” Hubble astronomers said.

“However, the diversity of galaxies in this new Hubble image alone highlights the complex web of galaxy classifications that exist, including galaxies that house extremely luminous active galactic nuclei at their cores, and galaxies whose shapes defy the classification of either spiral or elliptical.”

The Hubble image features spiral and irregular galaxies, perhaps most noticeably LEDA 58109the lone galaxy in the upper right.

LEDA 58109 is flanked by two further galaxies to its lower left: SDSS J162558.14+435746.4 and SDSS J162557.25+435743.5.

SDSS J162558.14+435746.4 legally obscures SDSS J162557.25+435743.5, which appears to poke out to the right.

“The sample of galaxies here also illustrates the wide variety of names that galaxies have,” the researchers said.

“Some relatively short, like LEDA 58109, and some very long and challenging to remember, such as the two galaxies to the left.”

“This is due to the variety of cataloging systems that chart the celestial objects in the night sky.”

“No one catalog is exhaustive, and they cover overlapping regions of the sky, so that many galaxies belong to several different catalogs.”

“For example, the galaxy on the right is LEDA 58109 in the LEDA galaxy database, but is also known as MCG+07-34-030 in the MCG galaxy catalog, and SDSS J162551.50+435747.5 in the SDSS galaxy catalog — the same catalog that also lists the two galaxies to the left.”

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