Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have captured an amazing new photo of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 6984.NGC 6984 lies approximately 164 million light-years away in the direction of the southern constellation of Indus.
Otherwise known as ESO 235-20 or LEDA 65798, the galaxy has a diameter of about 110,000 light-years.
NGC 6984 was discovered on July 8, 1834 by the English astronomer John Herschel.
“This galaxy is a familiar sight for Hubble, having already been captured in 2013,” Hubble astronomers said.
“Its sweeping spiral arms are threaded through with a delicate tracery of dark lanes of gas and dust, and studded with bright stars and luminous star-forming regions.”
The new observations were made following the discovery of two supernovae: SNhunt142 in 2012 and SN 2013ek in 2013.
“Supernovae are unimaginably violent explosions on a truly vast scale,” the researchers said.
“These events are powerful but rare and fleeting — a single supernova can outshine its host galaxy for a brief time.”
“The discovery of two supernovae at virtually the same time and location — in astronomical terms — prompted speculation that the two supernovae may somehow be physically linked.”
“Using optical and ultraviolet observations from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), we sought to get a better look at the site of the two supernovae, hopefully allowing us to discover if the two supernova explosions were indeed linked.”
“Our findings could give astronomers important clues into the lives of binary stars.”