MUSE — close up of the H-alpha line in the strange galaxy NGC 4650A

This view shows how the new MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope gives a three-dimensional view of a distant galaxy. For each part of the galaxy the light has been split up into its component colours — revealing not only the motions of different parts of the galaxy but also clues to its chemical composition and other properties. This picture is based on data on the polar ring galaxy NGC 4650A that were obtained soon after the instrument achieved first light in early 2014.

Here just the parts of the data that show the glow from hydrogen gas are shown. Because the disc around the galaxy is rotating some parts are moving away from the Earth at different velocities to other parts, so the glow appears at different wavelengths and the motions of the gas are revealed in great detail.


ESO/MUSE consortium/R. Bacon/L. Calçada

About the Video

Release date:5 March 2014, 12:00
Related releases:eso1407
Duration:29 s
Frame rate:30 fps

About the Object

Name:MUSE, NGC 4650A

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