NASA's Hubble spots a challenging cosmic target – the 'Hidden Galaxy'! (See pic)

IC 342, as the galaxy is also known, is bright and sits near the equator of the Milky Way’s galactic disk, where the sky is thick with glowing cosmic gas, bright stars, and dark, obscuring dust.

By Zee Media Bureau | Last Updated: Jul 08, 2017, 09:55 AM IST
NASA's Hubble spots a challenging cosmic target – the 'Hidden Galaxy'! (See pic)
Image courtesy: ESA/Hubble/NASA

New Delhi: Ever since its existence, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has proved its efficiency time and again.

Giving scientists hope of discovering evolutionary secrets of the universe, Hubble has helped unearth massive revelations, most of which have turned out to be breakthroughs in the world of space.

Helping scientists reach out into the depths of the universe and discover numerous things that would have otherwise, been impossible, Hubble has been highly dependable and has played the role of astronomers' and scientists' third eye, often digging out information that was least expected.

Now, Hubble has captured one of the most challenging cosmic targets in the universe – nicknamed the 'Hidden Galaxy'.

IC 342, as the galaxy is also known, is bright and sits near the equator of the Milky Way’s galactic disk, where the sky is thick with glowing cosmic gas, bright stars, and dark, obscuring dust.

As per NASA, in order for astronomers to see the intricate spiral structure of IC 342, they must gaze through a large amount of material contained within our own galaxy — no easy feat. As a result IC 342 is relatively difficult to spot and image, giving rise to its intriguing nickname.

NASA further reported that the sweeping spiral galaxy would be among the brightest in the sky were it not for its dust-obscured location. The galaxy is very active, as indicated by the range of colors visible in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, depicting the very central region of the galaxy.

A beautiful mixture of hot, blue star-forming regions, redder, cooler regions of gas, and dark lanes of opaque dust can be seen, all swirling together around a bright core, which astronomers confirmed in 2003, to be a specific type of central region known as an HII nucleus — a name that indicates the presence of ionized hydrogen — that is likely to be creating many hot new stars.