Ephemeral glow of ‘lost galaxy’ NGC 4535 captured in vivid detail by Hubble telescope

Hubble has released the colours of NGC 4535 in a new image. Taking to Twitter, ESA posted the image, alongside the caption, “This NASA/ESA @HUBBLE_space Telescope image shows barred spiral galaxy NGC 4535: its bright blue-ish spiral arms indicate a greater number of younger hotter stars, the yellower central bulge suggests that this area is home to older and cooler stars.” Located in the constellation of Virgo, the galaxy is around 50-million light-years away from Earth.

 Ephemeral glow of lost galaxy NGC 4535 captured in vivid detail by Hubble telescope

NGC 4535 Lost Galaxy. Image: Hubble/ESA

When seen from a smaller telescope, the NGC 4535 galaxy has an ephemeral, spectral appearance, leading amateur astronomer Leland S Copeland to nickname NGC 4535 as the ‘Lost Galaxy’ in the 1950s.

According to the Hubble website, the bright colours highlighted in the image inform stargazers about the population of stars within the barred spiral galaxy. The bright blue-ish colours seen nestled amongst the NGC 4535’s spiral arms indicate the presence of a greater number of younger and hotter stars. This is in contrast to the yellower tones of the galaxy’s bulge which point to stars which are older and cooler.

The galaxy was studied as part of the PHANGS survey which aims at clarifying the links between cod gas clourds, star formation and the overall shape and other properties of galaxies.