This video shows the Messier 83 galaxy, which is 15 million light years away, in all its glory
The galaxia Messier 83, also known as “Austral Pinwheel”, is a galaxy in the constellation Hydra. It is nothing more and nothing less than 15 million light years, which in astronomical terms is next door (the observable universe measures 93,000 million Light years, and now we can see it in all its splendor thanks to the DECADE, the Dark Energy Chamber built by the United States Department of Energy.
DECam has been mounted on the Víctor M. Blanco telescope (four meters) located at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. It is a program of the NOIRLab (National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory) of the NSF (National Science Foundation) and, thanks to him, we can have this photo. Of course, the image on these lines is not the complete photo, it is a huge, huge enlargement. In the video below these lines you can see the level of zoom that must be done to reach it.
Expand, expand, expand …
As explained from NOIRLab, six different filters were used in the DECam to get this image. These filters are used by astronomers to select the wavelengths to be captured and it is crucial when it comes to detecting specific information about a certain celestial object, although it also serves to give it those spectacular colors that we see in the video.
Thanks to the filters we can distinguish some interesting details within the image itself. For example, dark filaments are blocks of dust that block light, and bright red spots are hot hydrogen gas. Photos are taken with different filters and then combined to create the final image that we see. In total, this photo has been taken with 163 exposures totaling more than 11.3 hours.
And what about DECam? The DECam is a very powerful instrument with 74 coupled charging devices or CCDs. They are a type of sensor that is more sensitive to light than CMOS and can be found in cameras, although the DECam’s are much larger and designed to collect very weak red light from cameras. farther galaxies.
The original purpose of DECam was to help astronomers discover why the universe is not only expanding, but is accelerating
The original purpose of DECam was to help answer one of the big questions about our universe: why isn’t it just expanding, but it does it faster and faster. DECam spent six years taking photos of the universe to offer more data to astronomers and, today, it is considered to have already fulfilled its original objective: to complete the Dark Energy Survey (between 2013 and 2019)
However, it is still in operation. Members of the scientific community can ask for time to use the device and obtain data that is subsequently processed and made available to the public thanks to the Community Science and Data Center (CSCD) archive. Of course, it can also be used to take photos as beautiful as the one that heads this text.
Créditos de imagen: CTIO/NOIRLab/DOE/NSF/AURA, M. Soraisam (University of Illinois), S. Brunier/Digitized Sky Survey 2, Digitized Sky Survey (DSS), STScI/AURA, Palomar/Caltech and UKSTU/AAO.
Via | Mixx.io