As part of the Physics at High Angular resolution in Nearby GalaxieS (PHANGS) project, astronomers have taken a picture of a barred spiral galaxy called NGC 1087.
NGC 1087 is located approximately 80 million light-years away in the constellation of Cetus.
This galaxy was discovered on October 9, 1785 by the German-born British astronomer William Herschel.
Also known as IRAS 02438-0042, LEDA 10496 and UGC 2245, it has a diameter of about 87,000 light-years.
NGC 1087 lies near the M77 galaxy group, a small gathering of galaxies that also includes NGC 936, NGC 1055, and NGC 1090.
However, because of its distance, NGC 1087 probably is not an actual member of this group.
NGC 1087 has a very small nucleus and a very short stellar bar.
Unlike most barred spiral galaxies, the bar has some new star-formation taking place.
“The apparent menacing red glow corresponds to clouds of cold molecular gas, the raw material out of which stars form,” the astronomers said.
The new image of NGC 1087 was taken as part of the Physics at High Angular resolution in Nearby GalaxieS (PHANGS) project.
“We were able to image these clouds thanks to the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA),” the researchers said.
“The bluish regions in the background reveal the pattern of older, already formed stars, imaged by the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope.”
“We are making high-resolution observations of nearby galaxies with telescopes operating across a wide range of wavelengths,” they added.
“Different wavelengths tell us about the physical properties of stars, gas and dust within galaxies, and by comparing them we are able to study what activates, boosts or hinders the birth of new stars.”
Source link: https://www.sci.news/astronomy/star-forming-material-ngc-1087-10877.html