Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hubble's famous image of Supernova 1994D in Galaxy NGC 4526

Hubble's famous image of Supernova 1994D in Galaxy NGC 4526
Click on the image to enlarge

Hubble Space Telescope image of supernova 1994D in galaxy NGC 4526. NGC 4526 is a lenticular galaxy in the Virgo cluster. Far away, long ago, a star exploded. Supernova 1994D, visible as the bright spot on the lower left, occurred in the outskirts of disk galaxy NGC 4526. Supernova 1994D was not of interest for how different it was, but rather for how similar it was to other supernovae. In fact, the light emitted during the weeks after its explosion caused it to be given the familiar designation of a Type Ia supernova. If all Type Ia supernovae have the same intrinsic brightness, then the dimmer a supernova appears, the farther away it must be. By calibrating a precise brightness-distance relation, astronomers are able to estimate not only the expansion rate of the universe (parameterized by the Hubble Constant), but also the geometry of the universe we live in (parameterized by Omega and Lambda).
Credit: NASA/ESA, The Hubble Key Project Team and The High-Z Supernova Search Team

1 comment(s):

Dnl.Luck said...

i was wondering how far away galaxy NGC 4526 is from earth and in current means of the fastest man made space device, how long would it take to get there. On the cool side, if we could travel the speed of light how long would it take to get there and how man years would actually pass on earth compared to the length of time passed to the travelers.

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