The wonderful spiral galaxy M99 floods the frame in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Room Telescope.
M99— which lies roughly 42 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Coma Berenices— is a “ grand design” spiral universe, so-called because of the well-defined, notable spiral arms visible within this image.
Hubble’s Wide Field Digital camera 3 captured M99 on two separate occasions, helping astronomers study two entirely different astronomical phenomena.
The image above includes data from each sets of observations.
The first set of observations aimed to explore a space between two different kinds of cosmic explosions: novae plus supernovae.
The interactions between white dwarfs and larger stars within binary systems cause novae.
They may be much dimmer than supernovae which mark the catastrophically violent deaths of substantial stars.
However , current astronomical theories predict that sudden, fleeting events could occur that will shine with a brightness between that of novae and supernovae.
Although shrouded in mystery plus controversy, astronomers observed such an event in M99 and turned to Hubble for its confident vision to take a nearer look and precisely find the fading source.
The second set of findings were part of a large Hubble project aimed at charting the connections between young celebrities and the clouds of chilly gas from which they type.
Hubble inspected 38 nearby galaxies, identifying clusters of scorching, young stars.
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), a colossal radio telescope including 66 individual dishes perched high on the Atacama Desert Plateau just west of the Chilean Andes, also observed these 38 galaxes.
The combination of Hubble’s observations of young stars and ALMA’s view into clouds of cold gasoline will allow astronomers to explore the details of star development and paves the way for future science with the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope.