A beautiful new image of a relatively unknown, and unusual, starburst galaxy taken by the Hubble Space Telescope has just been released. The image shows galaxy J125013.50+073441.5, a glowing mass of material that is home to very high rates of star formation. The image clearly shows the regions of the starburst galaxy where the rates of star formation are particularly high, thy are the sparkling bright blue regions along the arms of the galaxy.
“Studying starburst galaxies can tell us a lot about galactic evolution and star formation. These galaxies start off with huge amounts of gas, which is used to form new stars. This period of furious star formation is only a phase; once all the gas is used up, this star birth slows down. Other famous starbursts captured by Hubble include the Antennae Galaxies and Messier 82, the latter of which is forming new stars ten times faster than our galaxy, the Milky Way.”
The new image was created by using data that was collected via Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 as part of a NASA study that’s been dubbed LARS (Lyman Alpha Reference Sample). The LARS mission was created for the purpose of furthering our understanding of the interactions between radiation and matter in nearby starburst galaxies.
If this photo interested you make sure to check out some of the other great images that the Hubble Space Telescope has brought us recently: The Horsehead Nebula In Infrared; Earliest Spiral Galaxy Ever Found; and Manatee In Space — Nebula Imaged.