Hubble Astronomers Discovered a Galaxy Of Dust

This week’s Hubble image reveals the beautiful rosy glow of a dusty spiral galaxy where stars are being born. The galaxy is known as NGC 972, and it was found in 1784 by William Herschel. It’s situated within the constellation of Aries, 71 million light-years away from our planet.

Cosmic dust is the particulate matter that revolves around in space, on this case, called interstellar dust because it exists between stars. Other varieties of cosmic dust are dust rings around planets, called circumplanetary dust, as well as interstellar dust and interplanetary dust. In our Solar System, it’s cosmic dust that’s accountable for the “false dawn” phenomenon, wherein faint white gentle is seen over the horizon before the sun rises.

Though cosmic dust was once considered a nuisance to astronomers because it obscured their view of stars, planets, and other bodies, more recently the dust itself has become a necessary object of study. Dust is made up of quite a lot of compounds, together with complex organic compounds created by the evolution of stars, so studying it can provide clues to the lifespan of celestial bodies.

“We look for these telltale signs of star formation when we examine galaxies throughout the cosmos, as star formation rates, areas, and histories offer vital clues as to how these colossal collections of gas and dust have changed over time,” the Hubble astronomers mentioned in a statement.

“New generations of stars contribute to — and are additionally, in turn, influenced by — the broader forces and factors that mildew galaxies throughout the Universe, such as gravity, radiation, matter, and dark matter.”