Today’s Image of the Day from the European Space Agency features the galaxy ESO 300-16, which is located 28.7 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Eridanus
According to ESA, the galaxy is a ghostly assemblage of stars which resembles a sparkling cloud.
“A rogue’s gallery of distant galaxies and foreground stars complete this astronomical portrait, which was captured by the Advanced Camera for Surveys,” said ESA.
“This observation is one of a series which aims to get to know our galactic neighbors; around three quarters of the known galaxies suspected to lie within 10 megaparsecs of Earth have been observed by Hubble in enough detail to resolve their brightest stars and establish the distances to these galaxies.”
“A team of astronomers proposed using small gaps in Hubble’s observing schedule to acquaint ourselves with the remaining quarter of the nearby galaxies.”
ESO 300-16 is a relatively small and remote dwarf galaxy. It is sometimes known as a “compact blue dwarf galaxy” because of its size and the intense blue colors indicating active star formation.
These galaxies are typically small, but they have high star-forming rates for their size. This kind of galaxy can provide insights into the process of star formation as well as galaxy evolution in general.
Dwarf galaxies are of particular interest to astronomers because they can help to provide understanding about the formation and evolution of galaxies in the early universe. They’re also thought to play a role in the assembly of larger galaxies over cosmic time.
By studying galaxies like ESO 300-16, astronomers can hope to better understand how galaxies grow, evolve, and interact over time.
Image Credit: ESA