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Business News/ Science / News/  Celestial 'Christmas tree': NASA's Hubble captures distant dwarf galexy's 'festive look'
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Celestial 'Christmas tree': NASA's Hubble captures distant dwarf galexy's 'festive look'

A new mesmerizing image captured by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope showcases the dwarf irregular galaxy UGC 8091, which looks like a part of a Christmas tree adorned with red-coloured decorations.

An image of the dwarf irregular galaxy, UGC 8091, clicked by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (Photo: NASA)Premium
An image of the dwarf irregular galaxy, UGC 8091, clicked by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (Photo: NASA)

A new mesmerizing image captured by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope showcases the dwarf irregular galaxy UGC 8091, which looks like a part of a Christmas tree adorned with red-coloured decorations. This dwarf galaxy, situated approximately 7 million light-years away from the US in the constellation Virgo, is a bustling community of around 1 billion stars. Despite its small size compared to the Milky Way, UGC 8091 offers a unique glimpse into the intricate and diverse nature of our universe.

The image of UGC 8091—taken by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA)—was obtained through the combination of Twelve camera filters capturing a wide range of light from the mid-ultraviolet through to the red end of the visible spectrum.

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“The red patches are likely interstellar hydrogen molecules that are glowing because they have been excited by the light from hot, energetic stars. The other sparkles on show in this image are a mix of older stars. An array of distant, diverse galaxies appear in the background, captured by Hubble's sharp view," NASA said.

UGC 8091 is considered to be an "irregular galaxy" because it does not have an orderly spiral or elliptical appearance. Instead, the stars that make up this celestial gathering look more like a brightly shining tangle of string lights than a galaxy.

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Dwarf galaxies like UGC 8091 are not mature. These galaxies are still in the process of merging with other galaxies. When the Milky Way Galaxy was maturing, it merged with other galaxies as well before taking the spectacular form that it has today.

UGC 8091’s proximity to Earth, combined with its unique characteristics, makes it a valuable object of study. Astronomers are investigating the composition of dwarf galaxies like UGC 8091 to gain insights into the dynamics of the early universe and the processes of stellar birth and development.

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Published: 21 Dec 2023, 08:17 PM IST
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