Hubble Snaps ‘Nearby’ Spiral Galaxy

Anyone who follows stuff about space will have picked this news item up in any one of about 30 places that featured it, but for those that missed it, the Hubble telescope has snapped some reasonably impressive shots (on the 10th of August) of the nearby “Island Galaxy”. Or for those that prefer the formal technical name; galaxy NGC 4911.


From what scientists can make of it they think that the Island Galaxy is probably only slightly larger than our own Milky Way galaxy. The Milky Way galaxy is estimated to contain around 300 billions suns whereas the Island Galaxy, based on early scientific study results, is thought to contain about 350 billion suns.

If you were thinking of taking a quick trip over to have a closer look at the Island Galaxy is but a mere trillion miles away.

For any photographers reading this the exposure time use by the Hubble telescope’s camera to take this picture was 28 hours! Anyone got a camera with a battery that would even last that long? And I am thinking that probably about 26 hours would have been enough—it looks a tad over-exposed to me (grins).

But really, how awesome is this? A photograph taken across 1 trillion miles of space of another complete galaxy in the universe? Still, as there are supposed to be around 200 billion galaxies comprising ‘the known’ universe, I guess it should not have been too hard to find one and photograph it (grins again).

If you would like to find out more about NGC 4911 then the best bet is probably to Bing (or Google) "NGC 4911".