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Hubble Infrared Image of Area Surrounding Hanny's Voorwerp


A vast number of galaxies is seen in this Hubble infrared image of the area surrounding the space oddity, Hanny's Voorwerp. Located in the constellation Leo Minor, a faint outline of the mysterious object, which is primarily visible in oxygen light, can be seen below the large galaxy IC 2497 near the center.

Leo Minor is known for its galaxy clusters, and this image is a testament to that fact. Most galaxies in this picture are spirals. Some are nearly face-on, as is the case with IC 2497 and its smaller companion to the left. Others are edge-on, as demonstrated by the multitude of elongated objects in the background.

This Hubble image was taken on April 4, 2010, with the Wide Field Camera 3 infrared detector. This near-infrared view of galaxies is typical of what is to come with the James Webb Space Telescope, whose prime purpose will be to image the universe in infrared wavelengths with high resolution.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Acknowledgment: NASA, ESA, W. Keel (University of Alabama), and the Galaxy Zoo Team