The NASA/ESA (European Space Agency) Hubble Space Telescope is like the Golden egg-laying goose — it keeps on giving amazing gifts in the form of phenomenal images of our cosmos and beyond. The latest breath-taking image captured by the mighty telescope is of the galaxy GC 2336. The spiral armed galaxy may look quite similar to our own Milky way with its planetary distribution and chromatic features. It is estimated that the beautiful galaxy is nearly 200,000 light-years across and at a distance of 100 million light-years away in the northern constellation of Camelopardalis (The Giraffe).
The stunning image was released by NASA on their official website on Friday. In the centre, you see a bright, yellow orb and all throughout the arms of the galaxy, it is littered with millions of shiny dots — which are stars. The NASA press release states the outer stars, bright silver/yellow toward the arm, are younger stars. Whereas, the centre with a more reddish concentration is the older star system.
In 1987, the NGC 2336 was a centre of interest for many astronomers. The galaxy experienced a Type-Ia supernova. It was the only observable supernova there, since its discovery nearly 111 years ago.
The galaxy was first discovered by German astronomer Wilhelm Tempel in 1876. At that time, he used the most technologically advanced equipment available to him, a 28-centimetre telescope. If Tempel could be brought to the future by some time machine, he probably wouldn’t recognise NGC 2336 as pictured by the Hubble as the same one that he observed hundreds of years ago.
As opposed to the 28-centimeter telescope of his time, the Hubble boasts of a 2.4 meters wide main mirror — definitely much more impressive than the equipment at his disposal. But despite dated technology, if it weren’t for the humble devices used by scientists like Tempel, we probably would be where we are today. The small steps they took with such limited technology has allowed agencies like NASA, ESA, ISRO and so on to run wild in the cosmos.