Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have taken a picture of a spiral galaxy called NGC 1385.
This Hubble image shows the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1385. The color image was made from separate exposures taken in the ultraviolet, visible and near-infrared regions of the spectrum with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). Five filters were used to sample various wavelengths. The color results from assigning different hues to each monochromatic image associated with an individual filter. Image credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble / J. Lee / PHANGS-HST Team.
“NGC 1385’s home — the Fornax constellation — is not named after an animal or an ancient deity, as are many of the other constellations. Fornax is simply the Latin word for a furnace,” Hubble astronomers said.
“The constellation was named Fornax by Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille, a French astronomer who was born in 1713.”
“Lacaiile named 14 of the 88 constellations that are still recognized today,” they added.
“He seems to have had a penchant for naming constellations after scientific instruments, including Atlia (the air pump), Norma (the ruler, or set square) and Telescopium (the telescope).”
NGC 1385 was discovered on November 17, 1784 by the German-born British astronomer William Herschel.
Otherwise known as AGC 22776, ESO 482-16, LEDA 13368 and IRAS 03353-2439, the galaxy has a diameter of about 70,000 light-years.
NGC 1385 is a member of the NGC 1385 group, a gathering of over 30 galaxies.
The galaxy also belongs to the Eridanus Cluster, a larger group that includes about 200 galaxies.
“The image of NGC 1385 was taken with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), which is often referred to as Hubble’s workhorse camera, thanks to its reliability and versatility,” the astronomers said.
“It was installed in 2009 when astronauts last visited Hubble, and 12 years later it remains remarkably productive.”