Astrophoto Lab
--- your online source for astronomical & satellite images ---

A Matter of Distance
General Information
Special Galleries
Deep Space
Stars, Supernovae
Solar System
Earth from Space
NASA Space Programs
Other Astro Images
Space Image Gallery
Useful Links
Credits & Useage
Name: NGC 7250, TYC 3203-450-1
Description: Star, Galaxy
Position (J2000): RA 22h 18m 18.99s Dec 40° 33' 9.73"
Constellation: Lacerta
Distance: 50 million light-years
Visual magnitude: 12.6
Angular size: 1.7 by 0.8 arcmin
Field of view: 2.71 x 2.71 arcminutes
Orientation: North is 75.0° right of vertical
Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Release date: April 24, 2017

Click the image to buy a print


In space, being outshone is an occupational hazard. This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image captures a galaxy named NGC 7250. It was discovered on Nov 8, 1790 by William Herschel. Despite being remarkable in its own right - it has bright bursts of star formation and recorded supernova explosions - it blends into the background somewhat thanks to the gloriously bright star hogging the limelight next to it.

This bright object is a single and little-studied star named TYC 3203-450-1, located in the constellation of Lacerta (The Lizard), much closer than the much more distant galaxy. Only this way a normal star can outshine an entire galaxy, consisting of billions of stars. Astronomers studying distant objects call these stars "foreground stars" and they are often not very happy about them, as their bright light is contaminating the faint light from the more distant and interesting objects they actually want to study.
In this case TYC 3203-450-1 is a million times closer than NGC 7250 which lies over 45 million light-years away from us. Would the star be the same distance as NGC 7250, it would hardly be visible in this image.