Hubble Images Isolated Galaxy DDO 190
August 18, 2012

Hubble Captures Image Of Isolated Galaxy DDO 190

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

An image of an isolated galaxy located approximately nine million light years from the Milky Way has been captured using the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA officials announced on Friday.

The picture features a relatively isolated, dwarf irregular galaxy known as DDO 190, which officials from the US space agency describe as relatively small and lacking in structure. The galaxy, which was identified and code named in honor of the David Dunlap Observatory in Ontario, is largely populated by older, reddish-colored stars on the outskirts, while the interior does contain some younger, bluish stars.

"DDO 190 lies around nine million light-years away from our solar system," NASA officials explained. "It is considered part of the loosely associated Messier 94 group of galaxies, not far from the Local Group of galaxies that includes the Milky Way."

"Although within the Messier 94 group, DDO 190 is on its own," they added. "The galaxy's nearest dwarf galaxy neighbor, DDO 187, is thought to be no closer than three million light-years away. In contrast, many of the Milky Way´s companion galaxies, such as the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, reside within a fifth or so of that distance, and even the giant spiral of the Andromeda Galaxy is closer to the Milky Way than DDO 190 is to its nearest neighbor."

DDO 190 was first observed by Canadian astronomer Sidney van der Bergh, who added it to the Observatory's catalog of dwarf galaxies in 1959, according to NASA. Within the galaxy are some isolated pockets of ionized gas heated by stars, the most noticeable of which is captured near the bottom of the Hubble photograph.

The picture of the galaxy was captured in visible and infrared light by the telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), and also features several distant spiral, elliptical, and other galaxies in the background of the image.

"A version of this image was entered into the Hubble's Hidden Treasures Image Processing Competition by contestant Claude Cornen," the US space agency said. "Hidden Treasures is an initiative to invite astronomy enthusiasts to search the Hubble archive for stunning images that have never been seen by the general public. The competition has now closed and the results will be published soon."

The Hubble Telescope, named for 20th century astronomer and cosmologist Edwin Hubble, was launched in 1990 and was the first major optical telescope to be sent into orbit. More than 10,000 papers have been published to date using information provided by the observatory, which is jointly operated by NASA and the ESA, according to the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI).