Where In The Universe #54

Article written: 13 May , 2009
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

It’s Wednesday, so that means its time for another “Where In The Universe” challenge to test your visual knowledge of the cosmos. See if you can name where in the Universe this image is from, and give yourself extra points if you can name the spacecraft responsible for the image. Make your guess and post a comment, but please no links to the answer. Check back sometime on Thursday to find the answer and see how you did.

UPDATE: The answer has now been posted below.

I chose a Hubble image this week, in honor of the current Hubble Servicing Mission. This is, as many of you said, the Cartwheel Galaxy.

The Cartwheel is a ring galaxy, lying about 500 million light-years away in the constellation Sculptor. It has been tidally distorted by an encounter with another galaxy into a ring-and-hub structure.

The striking cartwheel appearance is the result of a smaller intruder galaxy having careened through the core of the larger system, which was probably once a normal spiral similar to the Milky Way. Like a pebble tossed in a lake, the collision sent a ripple of energy into space, plowing gas and dust in front of it.

Expanding at a rate of more than 300,000 km/h, this cosmic tsunami left a burst of new star creation in its wake. Images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, including the one shown here, have resolved bright blue knots that are gigantic clusters of newborn stars and immense loops and bubbles blown into space by supernovae.

Sounds incredibly violent, but it sure makes a pretty picture!

Check back next week for another WITU challenge!

14 Responses

  1. Mr.No.Scope says

    I believe it is 500 mly away directly above our heads in a constellation that begins with “S”

  2. Rob_Bowman says

    A supernova remnant? Chandra/Hubble composite? Looks a bit like E0102-72, but isn’t I think.
    Fiendishly tricky.

  3. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    This is the Cartwheel galaxy ESO 350-40.

    I believe it assumed this shape after a collision with another galaxy.

    Lawrence B. Crowell

  4. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    PS this image is from HSTWFPC2, from the Hubble files.

    L. C.

  5. aerandir says

    Cartwheel Galaxy it is.

    You beat me to it Lawrence! =D

    But I didn’t know the image is from WFPC2.

  6. star-grazer west coast says

    I agree with Lawrence B. Crowell
    I’ve checked this image looking for another image from HST sites and Astronomy Picture of the Day site

  7. Nereid says

    Cartwheel galaxy, HST

  8. Ionguy says

    Just think about how this would look like from any standing point within this outer ring….A dim “milky way” bar that brightens as it reaches any planet´s horizon and a bright elliptical knot taking about 50° of the sky…awesome sight!

  9. vino says

    Hi! I know this one too….

    It is the Cartwheel Galaxy taken by HST!! I think it is the Wide field planetary camera which is abt to changed but i am not sure!!

    Thanks Nancy, the past two weeks were easy!!

  10. Wolter says

    It is the cart wheel and given the current activities it must be by Hubble 😉

  11. alfamonaro says

    I know this is a Hubble image but I had pinwheel stuck in my head which i know is wrong!!!

  12. ND says

    The following page has simulation videos that try to generate the same cartwheel galaxy result:


  13. star-grazer west coast says

    Although we are looking at the perspective from very far away, it makes me wonder should such an event happen to our Milky Way Galaxy, what impact if any will it have on our Solar System(assuming we are 3/4 away from the center and was not involved directly with the smaller Galaxy that ‘punch’ through.
    Still, this is an awesome Galaxy!!!!

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