The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 imaged this particular lonely spiral galaxy called UGC 9391.
The galaxy resides 130 million light-years through Earth in the constellation Draco near the north celestial pole.
The star-studded spiral arms stand in splendid isolation against the backdrop of distant galaxies, which are only visible as indistinct swirls or smudges thanks to their vast distances from Earth.
The image also features some much brighter downroad stars closer to home.
These bright nearby stars are ringed with diffraction spikes— prominent spikes caused by light getting together with the inner workings of Hubble’s secondary mirror facilitates.
This image is from a set of Hubble observations which astronomers used to construct the “ Cosmic Distance Ladder” — a set of connected measurements that allow astronomers to determine how far the most remote astronomical objects are.
Astronomical distances are only directly measurable pertaining to relatively nearby objects— nearer than 3, 000 light-years or so.
For distances beyond this, astronomers rely on a set of scored correlations calibrated against close by objects.
UGC 9391 helped astronomers boost their distance estimates by providing a natural laboratory in which to compare two measuring techniques— supernova explosions and Cepheid variables.
Improving the particular precision of distance dimensions helps astronomers quantify exactly how quickly the universe is certainly expanding— one of Hubble’s essential science goals.