Hubble Hunts the Cold Sky for Dead Stars

Galaxy NGC 2906

Image of spiral galaxy NGC 2906. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, A Filippenko

This image depicts a swirling spiral galaxy named NGC 2906.

The blue speckles seen scattered across this galaxy are massive young stars, which emit hot, blue-tinged radiation as they burn through their fuel at an immense rate. The swathes of orange are a mix of older stars that have swollen and cooled, and low-mass stars that were never especially hot to begin with. Owing to their lower temperatures, these stars emit a cooler, reddish, radiation.

This image of NGC 2906 was captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3, an instrument installed on Hubble in 2009 during the telescope’s fourth servicing mission. Hubble observed this galaxy on the hunt for fading light from recent, nearby occurrences of objects known as supernovae.

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