(ORDO NEWS) — Captured by NASA / ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope, this astronomical image shows a view of the majestic spiral galaxy UGC 11537. The infrared and visible light capabilities of the Hubble wide-angle camera have captured the galaxy’s tightly swirling spiral arms orbiting its center. The image shows bright streaks of stars and dark dust clouds that permeate the entire galaxy.
UGC 11537 lies 230 million light-years away in the constellation Eagle and is close to the plane of the Milky Way. So close that foreground stars from our own galaxy have crept into the image – the two visible stars in front of UGC 11537 are aliens from the Milky Way. The spikes surrounding these stars are image artifacts called diffraction spikes. They are the result of the interaction of starlight with the structure that supports the Hubble Secondary Mirror.
This image was taken from a series of observations designed to help astronomers evaluate supermassive black holes at the centers of distant galaxies. Hubble’s keen observations, along with ground-based telescopes, have allowed astronomers to create detailed models of the mass and motion of stars in these galaxies, which in turn helps to limit the mass of supermassive black holes.
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