Aden – Yasmine Abdullah Al-Tuhamy – Thursday, June 2, 2022
The Hubble Space Telescope continues to show the most intriguing parts of our universe, and recently captured an image of a galaxy hidden behind the Milky Way by space dust and gases.
Fortunately, the Hubble telescope has an infrared vision, which enables it to look through space debris, as infrared light is less scattered by dust and allows a clearer view of the galaxy beyond interstellar matter.
Scientists have named the spiral galaxy “Caldwell 5”, also known as IC 342, and it is a distant galaxy, described as a “hidden galaxy”.
NASA says the invisible galaxy is a large, bright spiral galaxy, but it is difficult to identify because of the cosmic smog that obscures our view of it.
“This bright view of the galactic center displays tangled tendrils of dust with amazing arms that wrap around a brilliant core of gas and hot stars,” NASA wrote. “If not obscured by so much interstellar material, the invisible galaxy would be one of the brightest in our sky.”
The hidden galaxy contains a special core in the center of the galaxy that is loaded with charged particles. “Such regions are an active star habitat where thousands of stars can form over a period of two million years,” NASA revealed.
The occult galaxy is relatively close to us, located 11 million light-years from Earth but when it comes to interstellar space and cosmic timelines, it is close.
It is about half the size of our Milky Way galaxy (50,000 light-years in diameter), which makes it also relatively large, and it is billions of years old.
IC 342 was discovered in 1892 by British astronomer William Frederick Denning.
Although IC 342 is bright, it lies near the equator of the Milky Way, where the sky is dense with glowing cosmic gas, bright stars and mysterious dark dust.
In order for astronomers to see its complex spiral structure, they must stare at the large amount of material found within the Milky Way.
As a result, IC 342 is relatively difficult to identify and photograph, giving rise to its intriguing nickname: the “hidden galaxy”.
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