Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"Galaksi UFO" di Rasi Lynx

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Galaksi NGC 2683 yang dijuluki Galaksi UFO.
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has spotted the "UFO Galaxy." NGC 2683 is a spiral galaxy seen almost edge-on, giving it the shape of a classic science fiction spaceship. This is why the astronomers at the Astronaut Memorial Planetarium and Observatory, Cocoa, Fla., gave it this attention-grabbing nickname.

While a bird's eye view lets us see the detailed structure of a galaxy (such as this Hubble image of a barred spiral), a side-on view has its own perks. In particular, it gives astronomers a great opportunity to see the delicate dusty lanes of the spiral arms silhouetted against the golden haze of the galaxy’s core. In addition, brilliant clusters of young blue stars shine scattered throughout the disc, mapping the galaxy’s star-forming regions.

Perhaps surprisingly, side-on views of galaxies like this one do not prevent astronomers from deducing their structures. Studies of the properties of the light coming from NGC 2683 suggest that this is a barred spiral galaxy, even though the angle we see it at does not let us see this directly.

This image is produced from two adjacent fields observed in visible and infrared light by Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys. A narrow strip which appears slightly blurred and crosses most the image horizontally is a result of a gap between Hubble’s detectors. This strip has been patched using images from observations of the galaxy made by ground-based telescopes, which show significantly less detail. The field of view is approximately 6.5 by 3.3 arcminutes.


Teleskop antariksa Hubble berhasil menangkap citra galaksi spiral NGC 2683. Bentuk galaksi tersebut menyerupai pesawat alien yang kerap digambarkan dalam film fiksi ilmiah sehingga astronom di Astronaut Memorial Planetarium and Observatory menjulukinya "Galaksi UFO".

Citra yang ditangkap Hubble menunjukkan rupa galaksi jika dilihat dari samping. Sudut pandang ini memberi kesempatan bagi astronom untuk melihat detail debu di tepian dan siluet warna keemasan di tengah galaksi.

Citra ini dirilis NASA, Jumat (30/3/2012) lalu. Dalam citra galaksi ini, astronom juga bisa melihat bahwa NGC 2683 ini kaya akan bintang muda dan panas yang ditunjukkan dengan warna biru.
Rasi Lynx
(dari Stellarium)
NGC 2683 ditemukan pada 5 Februari 1788 oleh astronom ternama, William Herschel. Galaksi ini mendiami rasi Lynx, rasi yang terlihat begitu redup sehingga membutuhkan mata sensitif untuk mengobservasi benda langit yang ada di areanya.

Instrumen Advanced Camera for Surveys yang ada pada teleskop antariksa Hubble menangkap citra galaksi ini dalam gelombang sinar tampak dan inframerah.

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