A Spectacular Side-On Spiral

This astronomical portrait from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope showcases an edge-on view of the majestic spiral galaxy UGC 11537. Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 has captured the tightly wound spiral arms swirling around the heart of UGC 11537 at infrared and visible wavelengths, showing both the bright bands of stars and the dark clouds of dust threading throughout the galaxy. 

UGC 11537 is 230 million light-years away in the constellation Aquila, and lies close to the plane of the Milky Way. Being so close to the starry band of the Milky Way means that foreground stars from our own galaxy have crept into the image — the two prominent stars in front of UGC 11537 are interlopers from within the Milky Way. These bright foreground stars are surrounded by diffraction spikes — imaging artifacts caused by starlight interacting with Hubble’s inner structure. 

This image came from a set of observations designed to help astronomers weigh supermassive black holes in distant galaxies. The combination of Hubble’s sharp-eyed observations and data from ground-based telescopes allowed astronomers to make detailed models of the mass of stars in these galaxies, which in turn helps constrain the mass of supermassive black holes.

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Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Seth

About the Image

Id:potw2146a
Type:Observation
Release date:15 November 2021, 06:00
Size:2033 x 1763 px

About the Object

Name:UGC 11537
Constellation:Aquila
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

Large JPEG
1.1 MB
Screensize JPEG
257.0 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
246.4 KB
1280x1024
413.2 KB
1600x1200
632.2 KB
1920x1200
793.7 KB
2048x1536
922.6 KB

Coordinates

Position (RA):20 18 37.36
Position (Dec):0° 9' 4.52"
Field of view:1.34 x 1.16 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 32.2° left of vertical


Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
g
475 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
H
1.6 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3

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