NASA’s Festive Gift Is A Snow Globe Galaxy Captured By Hubble Telescope

NASA has unveiled a breathtaking image of a galaxy that resembles a glistening snow globe, just in time for the holiday season. The galaxy, named UGC 8091, is located approximately 7 million light-years away from Earth, nestled in the constellation Virgo.

Unlike the familiar spiral or elliptical galaxies, UGC 8091 showcases a more unconventional and scattershot structure, classifying it as an “irregular” galaxy. These irregular galaxies, which make up about a quarter of all observed galaxies, lack a distinct spiral arm structure or central bulge.

The captivating image of UGC 8091 was composed using data collected by NASA and the European Space Agency’s Hubble Space Telescope over several years. The galaxy’s enchanting appearance is due to the billion stars within it, which give it the appearance of a sparkling snow globe.

Irregular galaxies like UGC 8091 provide valuable insights into the early stages of our cosmic history. They are typically smaller in size compared to galaxies like the Milky Way and exhibit peculiar shapes resulting from tumultuous events during their formation, such as interactions with other galaxies or collisions with massive gas and dust clouds.

In addition to its irregular structure, UGC 8091 is classified as a dwarf galaxy due to its smaller size. Dwarf galaxies, like UGC 8091, played a significant role in re-heating hydrogen during the universe’s expansion after the Big Bang. Exploring dwarf galaxies helps scientists better understand the early stages of our cosmic history.

The mesmerizing composite image of UGC 8091 was created using data from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 and the Advanced Camera for Surveys between 2006 and 2021. The image includes 12 camera filters capturing different types of light, ranging from the red end of the spectrum to ultraviolet light. The red patches represent hot, excited hydrogen gas in newly formed stars, while the other lights signify the presence of older stars, providing a vivid picture of the diverse celestial activities within this unique galaxy.

The image of UGC 8091 has captured the imagination of space enthusiasts worldwide, with its resemblance to a snow globe. This stunning revelation reminds us of the vast beauty and complexity of our universe.

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