UFO Galaxy Caught Edge-On in New Hubble Image

This angle gives astronomers great insight into the galaxy's structure

By Tudor Vieru on April 2nd, 2012 06:20 GMT

Using the infrared and optical sensors on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) instrument, astronomers were recently able to capture this impressive new view of the edge-on spiral galaxy NGC 2683, which is also known as the UFO Galaxy.

Two adjacent fields of view were combined in this photo, covering a field of view of approximately 6.5 by 3.3 arcminutes. The distorted horizontal line visible in the image represents the gap between Hubble's detectors, and was filled in using previous observations from ground-based observatories.

Seen in less detailed images, the UFO Galaxy appears to be an alien spaceship in the night sky. However, up close, it reveals its delicate dust lanes, which are highlighted by the galaxy's bright central regions in the background.

The blue dots scattered all around are stellar nurseries, areas where blue stars are formed. Some of them are still smothered by their dust cocoons, and are only visible in infrared wavelengths.
This is Hubble's latest view of the UFO Galaxy, NGC 2683
   This is Hubble's latest view of the UFO Galaxy, NGC 2683
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