Dark galaxies spotted for the first time

This deep image shows the region of the sky around the quasar HE0109-3518. The quasar is near the centre of the image. The energetic radiation of the quasar makes dark galaxies glow, helping astronomers to understand the obscure early stages of galaxy formation. Dark galaxies are essentially devoid of stars, therefore they don’t emit any light that telescopes can catch. This makes them virtually impossible to observe unless they are illuminated by an external light source like a background quasar.

This image combines observations from the Very Large Telescope, tuned to detect the fluorescent emissions produced by the quasar illuminating the dark galaxies, with colour data from the Digitized Sky Survey 2.

Credit:

ESO, Digitized Sky Survey 2 and S. Cantalupo (UCSC)

About the Image

Id:eso1228a
Type:Observation
Release date:11 July 2012, 12:00
Related releases:eso1228
Size:1600 x 1700 px

About the Object

Name:HE 0109-3518
Type:Early Universe : Galaxy
Early Universe : Galaxy : Activity : AGN : Quasar
Distance:z=2.4 (redshift)
Constellation:Sculptor
Category:Quasars and Black Holes

Image Formats

Large JPEG
939.8 KB
Screensize JPEG
422.6 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
254.0 KB
1280x1024
434.1 KB
1600x1200
699.9 KB
1920x1200
634.7 KB
2048x1536
843.6 KB

Coordinates

Position (RA):1 11 43.68
Position (Dec):-35° 3' 0.94"
Field of view:6.70 x 7.12 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 0.1° left of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
B
Digitized Sky Survey 2
N/A
Optical
R
Digitized Sky Survey 2
N/A
Infrared
I
Digitized Sky Survey 2
N/A
Optical
B
414 nmVery Large Telescope
FORS2

 

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