Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have produced a spectacularly detailed image of the central region of NGC 4535.
Otherwise known as LEDA 41812 and UGC 7727, this galaxy was first observed by the German-British astronomer William Herschel on December 28, 1785.
When seen through a smaller telescope, NGC 4535 has a hazy, ghostly appearance, which inspired the prominent amateur astronomer Leland S. Copeland to name it ‘The Lost Galaxy’ in the 1950s.
NGC 4535’s almost circular appearance shows that we observe it nearly face-on.
In its center, there is a well-defined bar structure, with dust lanes that curve sharply before the spiral arms break from the ends of the bar.
“The bright colors in this Hubble image aren’t just beautiful to look at, as they actually tell us about the population of stars within NGC 4535,” Hubble astronomers said.
“The bright blue-ish colors, seen nestled amongst its long, spiral arms, indicate the presence of a greater number of younger and hotter stars.”
“In contrast, the yellower tones of NGC 4535’s bulge suggest that this central area is home to stars which are older and cooler.”
“This galaxy was studied as part of the PHANGS survey, which aims to clarify many of the links between cold gas clouds, star formation, and the overall shape and other properties of galaxies,” they said.