This galaxy is contained in what I would call one of the saddest-looking datasets in the archive. It had very little hope of ever making its way out to the public eye because of the chip gap running through it and also because there isn’t enough data available to make a nice, color image.
So anyway, I did what I could with it. I have eked out some color by taking the near-infrared filter in grayscale and overlaying the available H-alpha data on top in red so we can see those little red clouds.
I also sharpened the dust clouds a bit because that is what makes this galaxy visually interesting. It is quite dusty, isn’t it? The dust darkens the galaxy enough that even that nearby dim star easily outshines even the brightest visible part of the galaxy’s slightly bulging nucleus.
The chip gap was filled with cloned data. I can see an entire star and most of one small background galaxy are lost in the infernal chip gap. Alas.
This image possible thanks to the following HST Proposal:
The Nuclear Structure of OH Megamaser Galaxies
(Oh, what in the Universe is an OH megamaser? I should have read that before posting this…)
All channels: ACS / WFC F814W
Red overlay: ACS / WFC FR656N (That’s a ramp filter)
North is NOT up. It is 86.44° clockwise from up.
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
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.