Hubble Looks at Stunning Spiral Galaxy: NGC 5037

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has taken a picture of the nearly edge-on spiral galaxy NGC 5037.

This Hubble image shows NGC 5037, a spiral galaxy some 91 million light-years away in the constellation of Virgo. Image credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble / D. Rosario / L. Shatz.

NGC 5037 is a faint spiral galaxy discovered by the German-born British astronomer William Herschel on December 31, 1785.

Also known as IRAS 13123-1619 and LEDA 46078, the galaxy is located 91 million light-years away in the constellation of Virgo.

“Yet it is possible to see the delicate structures of gas and dust within the galaxy in extraordinary detail,” Hubble astronomers said.

NGC 5037 is a member of a small group of galaxies called the NGC 5044 group.

It also belongs to the Virgo Cluster, a massive collection of roughly 2,000 galaxies.

NGC 5037 hosts an active galactic nucleus (AGN) heavily obscured by dust.

In 2017, a team of astronomers from Japan detected water maser emission toward the AGN using the Nobeyama 45-m telescope.

The new image of NGC 5037 is made up of observations from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) in the near-infrared and optical parts of the spectrum.

Two filters were used to sample various wavelengths. The color results from assigning different hues to each monochromatic image associated with an individual filter.

“WFC3 was installed on Hubble by astronauts in 2009, during servicing mission 4, which was Hubble’s fifth and final servicing mission,” the astronomers said.

“Servicing mission 4 was intended to prolong Hubble’s life for another five years.”

“12 years later, both Hubble and WFC3 remain in active use!”

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