The Hubble’s View of NGC 4753

NASA could post a million photos a day and I would be in awe of all of them. The Hubble Space Telescope’s images of NGC 4753 is no exception. Residing in the constellation Virgo and first discovered by the astronomer William Herschel in 1784, I’m willing to bet he’d appreciate these images too.

NGC 4753’s low-density environment and complex structure make it scientifically interesting to astronomers who can use the galaxy in models that test different theories of formation of lenticular galaxies. The galaxy has also hosted two known Type Ia supernovae. These types of supernovae are extremely important in the study of the expansion rate of the universe. Because they are the result of exploding white dwarfs which have companion stars, they always peak at the same brightness — 5 billion times brighter than the Sun. Knowing the intrinsic brightness of these events and comparing that with their apparent brightness allows astronomers to use them to measure cosmic distances, which in turn help us determine how the universe has expanded over time.

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