A rainbow of colors is captured in the center of a magnificent barred spiral galaxy, as witnessed by the three cameras of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
The color-composite image of the galaxy NGC 1512 was created from seven images taken with the JPL-designed and built Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC-2), along with the Faint Object Camera and the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer. Hubble's unique vantage point high above the atmosphere allows astronomers to see objects over a broad range of wavelengths from the ultraviolet to the infrared and to detect differences in the regions around newly born stars.
The new image is online at http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2001/16/.
The image reveals a stunning 2,400 light-year-wide circle of infant star clusters in the center of NGC 1512. Located 30 million light-years away in the southern constellation of Horologium, NGC 1512 is a neighbor of our Milky Way galaxy.
With the Hubble data, a team of Israeli and American astronomers performed one of the broadest, most detailed studies ever of such star-forming regions. Results will appear in the June issue of the Astronomical Journal. The team includes Dr. Dan Maoz, Tel-Aviv University, Israel and Columbia University, New York, N.Y.; Dr. Aaron J. Barth, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Mass.; Dr. Luis C. Ho, The Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington; Dr. Amiel Sternberg, Tel-Aviv University, Israel; and Dr. Alexei V. Filippenko, University of California, Berkeley.
The Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md., manages space operations for the Hubble Space Telescope for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Institute is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy Inc., for NASA under contract with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
Additional information about the Hubble Space Telescope is available at http://www.stsci.edu/hst/. More information about the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 is available at http://www.stsci.edu/hst/wfpc2.