At a distance of 23 million light years away, NGC 1058 is most
likely an intrinsically small spiral galaxy. However the host of
bright blue and pink regions shows that this galaxy is actively
forming stars. NGC 1058 also harbors a bit of a mystery. This
galaxy has had several supernovae go off in the past. However,
the nature of the explosion that was observed in 1961 (SN1961 V)
is still a bit of a mystery even today.
When stars explode they leave behind violently expanding shells of
gas. NGC 1058 is close enough to us that telescopes like HST and
the VLBA can resolve stars and small features in this galaxy; however
there does not
seem to be a good candidate for the explosion, but there is a star near to the
position. In addition there is
an expanding shell of gas as measured by the radio data. So astronomers
seemed to have settled on the idea of a supernova explosion- but recent
papers on the subject suggest that this object "should be monitored
photometrically and spectroscopically for variability in order
to understand its nature and relationship to SN1961 V."
For the truly interested, the position of the area of interest is at
about 4 O'clock- horizontal to the bright star
(with a close companion) to the right. |
Close inspection of this image reveals many HII regions that seem to be floating freely outside the bright portion of the disk. I suspect that there are even dimmer spiral arms surrounding the galaxy- but only the brightest parts can be seen in this image.
|L R G B color production was used to create this image.||
Minimum credit line: Bob Ferguson and Richard Desruisseau/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF
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