Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have captured a striking new photo of the barred spiral galaxy Markarian 1337.Markarian 1337 (Mrk 1337 for short) is located approximately 119.5 million light-years away in the constellation of Virgo.
In the 1960s, the Armenian astrophysicist Benjamin Markarian and his collaborators included Mrk 1337 in their catalog of galaxies that have nuclei with excessive amounts of ultraviolet emissions.
Otherwise known as LEDA 43690 and IRAS 12499-0930, Mrk 1337 belongs to a small group of spiral galaxies.
“Mrk 1337 is a weakly barred spiral galaxy, which as the name suggests means that the spiral arms radiate from a central bar of gas and stars,” the Hubble astronomers said.
“Bars occur in roughly half of spiral galaxies, including our own galaxy — the Milky Way.”
The new image of Mrk 1337 is a composite of separate exposures acquired by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) instrument.
“Hubble’s WFC3 snapped Mrk 1337 at a wide range of ultraviolet, visible and infrared wavelengths, producing this richly detailed image,” the astronomers said.
Four filters were used to sample various wavelengths. The color results from assigning different hues to each monochromatic image associated with an individual filter.
“These observations are part of a campaign to improve our knowledge of how fast the Universe is expanding,” the researchers said.
“They were proposed by Adam Riess, who was awarded a Nobel Laureate in physics 2011 for his contributions to the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe, alongside Saul Perlmutter and Brian Schmidt.”