Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have captured a striking new photo of UGC 10143, a giant elliptical galaxy located at the center of the galaxy cluster Abell 2147.
UGC 10143 lies about 486 million light-years away in the constellation Serpens.
Also known as LEDA 56784 and Arp 324, this galaxy is the largest and brightest member of the Abell 2147 galaxy cluster, which itself may be part of the much larger Hercules galaxy supercluster.
“UGC 10143’s bright center, extended halo, and lack of spiral arms and star-forming dust lanes distinguish it as an elliptical galaxy,” the Hubble astronomers said.
“Ellipticals are often close to the center of galaxy clusters, suggesting they may form when galaxies merge.”
This new image of UGC 10143 is part of a Hubble survey of globular clusters associated with the brightest members of galaxy clusters.
“Globular star clusters help us trace the origin and evolution of their galactic neighbors,” the researchers explained.
“The Hubble survey examined the distribution, luminosity, and metal content of more than 35,000 globular clusters.”
The color image of UGC 10143 was made from separate exposures taken in the visible and infrared regions of the spectrum with Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) and Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) as well as data from the Pan-STARRS collaboration.
Several filters were used to sample different wavelengths.
Color results from assigning different hues to each monochromatic image associated with an individual filter.
“The blue color represents visible blue light and the reddish-orange represents near infrared light,” the scientists said.