- Art by Judy Schmidt

UGC 11651 (2014)

This is the last low-surface-brightness galaxy from Proposal 10550. Perhaps it is the best example of a massive, spiral galaxy that is counter-intuitively dim. Numerous background galaxies fleck the blackness of space behind while a fair number of Milky Way stars dot the foreground. It’s a good balance, I have to say. I just wish there was at least one more filter and a few more exposures because there sure were a lot of cosmic rays to get rid of in this series and two colors always leave something to be desired.

Standard disclaimer / disclosure: Chip gap is filled with fake data. Something bothered me this whole time about these galaxies and the way the chip gap obnoxiously cuts across every single one of them. I finally decided it was because the galaxy itself was not the focus of this study but rather the search for globular clusters in the galactic halos. So if you were a scientist, you’d want the galaxy to be as centered on the detector as possible since those globulars can be really far away from the disk itself. One picture which illustrates this very clearly is this image of the Sombrero Galaxy. You might be surprised to learn that many of those dots are not Milky Way stars or background galaxies but are, in fact, globular clusters surrounding the Sombrero.

Red: HST_10550_06_ACS_WFC_F775W_sci
Green: Pseudo
Blue: HST_10550_06_ACS_WFC_F475W_sci

North is up.

Copyright information:
Hubble data is public domain, but I put a lot of work into combining it into beautiful color images. The minimal credit line should read: NASA / ESA / J. Schmidt

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.