Hubble's view of Hoag's Object
Click on image for full size
NASA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA
New Pictures of Hoag’s Object!
News story originally written on September 12, 2002
The Hubble Space Telescope has recently taken some exciting pictures of Hoag’s Object, a somewhat mysterious galaxy that is 600 million light years from Earth.
The galaxy was named after Art Hoag, the astronomer who found it in 1950. Located in the constellation Serpens, Hoag’s Object is about the size of our galaxy but has an unusual shape with a blue ring of young massive stars and a yellow center of older cooler stars. It is so unusual that Art Hoag did not know it was a galaxy when he first found it. He first thought that it was a nebula, but later suggested that it was, in fact, a galaxy.
Astronomers know several different ways that ring shaped galaxies can form, but the unusual shape of Hoag’s Object appears to have formed in a unique way. It is unlike other ring shaped galaxies, which often form by collision with another galaxy, because Hoag’s Object shows no signs of collision. Astronomers suspect that the outer ring of stars was formed two to three billion years ago when a galaxy passing nearby left young stars behind.
Last modified September 12, 2002 by Lisa Gardiner.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games
section of our online store
includes a climate change card game
and the Traveling Nitrogen game
You might also be interested in:
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was one of the most important exploration tools of the past two decades, and will continue to serve as a great resource well into the new millennium. The HST is credited...more
It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more
The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center at 2:19 p.m. EST, October 29th. The sky was clear and the weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit for the Unitied...more
A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more
Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials are demanding an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting...more
During a period of about two days in early May, 1998, the ACE spacecraft was immersed in plasma associated with a coronal mass ejection (CME). The SWICS instrument on ACE, which determines unambiguously...more
J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service has referred to forests as the "heart and lungs of the world." Forests reduce soil erosion, maintain water quality, contribute to atmospheric humidity and cloud...more