Hubble looks at galactic oddity

(ORDO NEWS) — The ultra-diffuse galaxy GAMA 526784 appears as an opaque patch of light in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image.

This nebulous object lies in the constellation Hydra, about four billion light-years from Earth. Ultradiffuse galaxies such as GAMA 526784 have a number of features.

For example, they may have either very low or high abundances of dark matter, an invisible substance thought to make up most of the matter in the universe.

Observations of ultradiffuse galaxies have shown that some of them are almost completely devoid of dark matter, while others are composed of almost nothing but dark matter.

Another oddity of this class of galaxies is an unusual abundance of bright globular clusters, which is not observed in other types of galaxies.

Hubble imaged GAMA 526784 using the Advanced Observing Camera (ACS), which was installed in 2002 by astronauts during the Hubble Servicing Mission 3B.

Since then, this instrument has played a key role in some of Hubble’s most impressive scientific results, including the Hubble Ultra Deep Field survey.

The ACS also photographed Pluto ahead of the New Horizons mission, observed giant gravitational lenses, and detected fully formed galaxies in the early universe.

This image was taken during Hubble observations designed to shed light on the properties of ultra-diffuse galaxies.

Hubble’s sharp eyesight allowed astronomers to study GAMA 526784 at high resolution in the ultraviolet wavelengths, helping to determine the size and age of the compact star-forming regions that litter the galaxy.

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