Portrait of a Ghostly Galactic Peacock

The lenticular galaxy NGC 6684 bathes this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope in a pale light. Captured with Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys, this lenticular galaxy is around 44 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Pavo. Pavo — whose name is Latin for peacock — is a constellation in the southern sky and one of four constellations collectively known as the Southern Birds.

Lenticular galaxies like NGC 6684 (lenticular means lens-shaped) possess a large disc but lack the prominent spiral arms of galaxies like the Andromeda Galaxy. This leaves them somewhere between elliptical galaxies and spiral galaxies, and lends these galaxies a diffuse, ghostly experience. NGC 6684 also lacks the dark dust lanes that thread through other galaxies, adding to its spectral, insubstantial appearance.

The data in this image were captured during a census of the nearby Universe entitled Every Known Nearby Galaxy which aims to observe all galaxies within 10 megaparsecs (32.6 million light-years) that the telescope has not already visited. Before this programme began Hubble had observed roughly 75% of these nearby galaxies, and completing this census will reveal insights into the stars making up a wide variety of galaxies, in a wide variety of environments.

[Image Description:  A galaxy, large and occupying most of the view from the centre. The whole galaxy is made of smooth, diffuse light. The galaxy is surrounded by a smoky grey halo. Many stars shine around the galaxy, on a black background.]

Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Tully

About the Image

Id:potw2332a
Type:Observation
Release date:7 August 2023, 06:00
Size:3818 x 3910 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 6684
Distance:44 million light years
Constellation:Pavo
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

Large JPEG
4.6 MB
Screensize JPEG
202.5 KB

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161.7 KB
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Coordinates

Position (RA):18 49 0.17
Position (Dec):-65° 10' 17.50"
Field of view:3.18 x 3.26 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 45.9° right of vertical


Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
V
606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
V
606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS

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