What’s small, irregularly shaped and recently underwent a spurt of star formation? The dwarf galaxy NGC 1705, an oddball starburst galaxy about 17 million light years from Earth. Such irregular dwarf galaxies tend to contain little raw material beyond hydrogen and helium and are thought to be similar to the first galaxies forming in the wake of the Big Bang. This Hubble Space Telescope image was collected in a project to better understand the interplay between stars, clusters and ionised gas in nearby star-forming galaxies. Looking at NGC 1705 in H-alpha light using Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3, researchers were able to discern thousands of emission nebulae caused by ultraviolet light from hot, young stars making surrounding gas clouds glow. Hubble studied NGC 1705 in 1999 using an older camera, but the Wide Field Camera 3 provides a much more detailed view.
New images captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) confirm the presence of a dark vortex roughly 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometres) across in the atmosphere of Neptune. Though similar features were seen during the Voyager 2 flyby of Neptune in 1989 and by the HST in 1994, this vortex is the first one observed on Neptune in the 21st century.
A group of researchers using the W. M. Keck Observatory have discovered a planet-like body that may have been encrusted in limestone and is having its surface layers devoured by its deceased host star. The team found that the rocky material being accreted by the star could be comprised of minerals that are typically associated with marine life processes here on Earth.