Hubble discovers a gorgeous spiral galaxy

This beautiful picture of the spiral galaxy NGC 4571, which resides around 60 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Coma Berenices, was acquired with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3. Bernice's Hair is the name of a constellation named for an Egyptian queen who lived more than 2,200 years ago. Spiral galaxies like NGC 4571 are beautiful, but they aren't the biggest formations known to scientists. The Virgo cluster, which contains over a thousand galaxies, includes NGC 4571. This cluster is part of the larger Virgo supercluster, which also includes the Local Group, which includes our own Milky Way galaxy.

This image was created as part of a big observational campaign that aimed to create a treasure trove of combined observations from Hubble and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). ALMA is a massive telescope in the Chilean Andes that consists of 66 high-precision antennas that view wavelengths between infrared and radio waves. ALMA is able to detect the clouds of cold interstellar dust that give rise to young stars as a result of this. Meanwhile, scientists can determine the position of hot, brilliant, freshly born stars because to Hubble's razor-sharp ultraviolet images. The ALMA and Hubble observations together give astronomers investigating star formation with a valuable data bank, as well as setting the framework for future science with the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope.

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