VLT/MUSE image of the galaxy NGC 4993 and associated kilonova

This image from the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile shows the galaxy NGC 4993, about 130 million light-years from Earth. The galaxy is not itself unusual, but it contains something never before witnessed, the aftermath of the explosion of a pair of merging neutron stars, a rare event called a kilonova (seen just above and slightly to the left of the centre of the galaxy). This merger also produced gravitational waves and gamma rays, both of which were detected by LIGO-Virgo and Fermi/INTEGRAL respectively. By also creating a spectrum for each part of the object MUSE allows the emission from glowing gas to be seen, which appears in red here and reveals a surprising spiral structure.

Credit:

ESO/J.D. Lyman, A.J. Levan, N.R. Tanvir

About the Image

Id:eso1733d
Type:Observation
Release date:16 October 2017, 16:00
Related releases:eso1733
Size:657 x 615 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 4993
Type:Local Universe : Star : Evolutionary Stage : Neutron Star
Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Elliptical
Constellation:Hydra
Category:Galaxies
Stars

Image Formats

Large JPEG
47.1 KB
Screensize JPEG
73.6 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
71.6 KB
1280x1024
106.3 KB
1600x1200
140.0 KB
1920x1200
154.1 KB
2048x1536
199.8 KB

Coordinates

Position (RA):13 9 47.78
Position (Dec):-23° 22' 57.04"
Field of view:0.91 x 0.85 arcminutes
Orientation:North is -0.0° left of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
V
547 nmVery Large Telescope
MUSE
Optical
R
634 nmVery Large Telescope
MUSE
Optical
I
879 nmVery Large Telescope
MUSE
Optical
NII
658 nmVery Large Telescope
MUSE

 

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