A Spiral Amongst Friends

This image, taken with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), features the spiral galaxy NGC 4680. At 2 o’clock and 7 o’clock two other galaxies can be seen flanking NGC 4680. NGC 4680 enjoyed a wave of attention in 1997, as it played host to a supernova explosion known as SN 1997bp. Amazingly, the supernova was identified by an Australian amateur astronomer named Robert Evans, who has identified an extraordinary 42 supernova explosions. 

NGC 4680 is actually a rather tricky galaxy to classify. It is sometimes referred to as a spiral galaxy, but it is also sometimes classified as a lenticular galaxy. Lenticular galaxies fall somewhere in between spiral galaxies and elliptical galaxies. Whilst NGC 4680 does have distinguishable spiral arms, they are not clearly defined, and the tip of one arm appears very diffuse. Galaxies are not static, and their morphologies (and therefore their classifications) vary throughout their lifetimes. Spiral galaxies are thought to evolve into elliptical galaxies, most likely by merging with one another, causing them to lose their distinctive spiral structures.

Links

Credit:

 ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Riess et al.

About the Image

Id:potw2123a
Type:Observation
Release date:7 June 2021, 06:00
Size:3466 x 3106 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 4680
Distance:140 light years
Constellation:Virgo
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

Large JPEG
2.3 MB
Screensize JPEG
193.0 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
176.0 KB
1280x1024
280.4 KB
1600x1200
420.1 KB
1920x1200
534.2 KB
2048x1536
707.1 KB

Coordinates

Position (RA):12 46 54.54
Position (Dec):-11° 38' 10.17"
Field of view:2.29 x 2.05 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 21.3° left of vertical


Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
Long pass
350 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
V
555 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
H
1.6 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3

Also see our


Privacy policy Accelerated by CDN77