NASA's Hubble Captures Images of a Hidden Galaxy named IC 342

NASA's Hubble spots a challenging cosmic target – the 'Hidden Galaxy'

NASA's Hubble spots a challenging cosmic target – the 'Hidden Galaxy'

Gravitational lensing occurs when a massive galaxy or cluster of galaxies bends the light emitted from a more distant galaxy. That arc is actually three separate images of the same background galaxy.

The gravity of a giant cluster of galaxies between the target galaxy and Earth distorts the more distant galaxy's light, stretching it into an arc and also magnifying it nearly 30 times.

Without the boost of the gravitational lens, the disk galaxy would appear smooth and unremarkable through the Hubble telescope, Johnson said.

This revealed two dozen patches of newly-formed stars, according to the researchers.

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The galaxy in question, SGAS J111020.0+645950.8 (SGAS 1110 for short), is a clumpy, star-forming galaxy approximately 11 billion light-years away. 2017. Star Formation at z=2.481 in the Lensed Galaxy SDSS J1110+6459: Star Formation down to 30 parsec scales.

While scientists previously suspected star-forming regions in the early universe spanned upwards of 3,000 light-years, the new observations suggest some are much smaller, with each of the newfound "clumps" extending about 300 light-years. "I. Lens Modeling and Source Reconstruction" - said in the statement, and added that the galaxy would have seemed perfectly ordinary to Hubble were it not magnified by gravitational lensing.

"There are star-forming knots as far down in size as we can see", Traci Johnson, a doctoral student at the University of MI and lead author of the paper - titled "Star Formation at z = 2.481 in the Lensed Galaxy SDSS J1110 = 6459".

"With the Webb Telescope, we'll be able to tell you what happened in this galaxy in the past, and what we missed with Hubble because of dust", said Rigby.

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This artist's illustration portrays what the gravitationally lensed galaxy SDSS J1110+6459 might look like up close. Rigby was also one of the co-authors of a paper on the subject that appeared online Thursday in the Astrophysical Journal.

A attractive mixture of hot, blue star-forming regions, redder, cooler regions of gas, and dark lanes of opaque dust can be seen, all swirling together around a bright core, which astronomers confirmed in 2003, to be a specific type of central region known as an HII nucleus - a name that indicates the presence of ionized hydrogen - that is likely to be creating many hot new stars. In 2003, astronomers confirmed this core to be a specific type of central region known as an HII nucleus - a name that indicates the presence of ionized hydrogen - that is likely to be creating many hot new stars.

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of worldwide cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, conducts Hubble science operations.

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