Friday Galaxy : NGC 4526 & SN 1994D

The image below is an image taken in 1994 with the Hubble Space telescope of galaxy NGC 4526:


Image: NASA, ESA, The Hubble Key Project Team, and The High-Z Supernova Search Team

The bright spot in the lower left is the supernova known as SN1994D. This is a Type~Ia supernova, type type of supernova that has been used by several times (initially two, the one that I was in, and the one that this image is credited to) to measure the expansion history of the Universe, and to discovery that the expansion is accelerating (requiring that there be that which we now call "Dark Energy" filling the Universe). The supernova here occurred in the outskirts of the galaxy— which isn't particularly surprising for this type of supernova.

The galaxy itself is a dusty disk galaxy. Most disk galaxies have a fair amount of dust in them; you can see the dust in our own galaxy if you look at the sky at the right time of night from a very dark site.

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The coolest thing about astronomy is that you get images like this. The scientific value is outstanding - it helps us to better understand the universe in a really fundamental way. And, on the flip side, you get absolutely stunning images that could hang in an art gallery.

Is there anything better than this? Thanks for sharing that one!

By David Williamson (not verified) on 08 Jun 2007 #permalink

Signs you may have spent too much time studying SN: you automatically put a ~ between Type and Ia even when you aren't writing Latex. I have the same problem.

By Alex Conley (not verified) on 08 Jun 2007 #permalink