--- your online source for astronomical & satellite images ---
Not So Dead After All
Messier 110, NGC 205
Dwarf elliptical galaxy
RA 0h 40m 24.40s Dec 41° 41' 46.40"
3 million light years
19.5' × 11.5'
2.36 x 1.77 arcminutes
North is 41.4° left of vertical
ESA/Hubble & NASA, L.Ferrarese et al.
September 16, 2019
Click the image to buy a print
Many of the best-loved galaxies in the cosmos are remarkably large, close, massive, bright, or beautiful, often with an unusual or intriguing structure or history. However, it takes all kinds to make a Universe - as demonstrated by this Hubble Picture of the Week of Messier 110. It was discovered on August 10, 1773 by Charles Messier.
Messier 110 may not look like much, but it is a fascinating near neighbor of our home galaxy, and an unusual example of its type. It is a member of the Local Group, a gathering of galaxies comprising the Milky Way and a number of the galaxies closest to it. Specifically, Messier 110 is one of the many satellite galaxies encircling the Andromeda Galaxy, the nearest major galaxy to our own, and is classified as a dwarf elliptical galaxy, meaning that it has a smooth and almost featureless structure. Elliptical galaxies lack arms and notable pockets of star formation - both characteristic features of spiral galaxies. Dwarf ellipticals are quite common in groups and clusters of galaxies, and are often satellites of larger galaxies.
Because they lack stellar nurseries and contain mostly old stars, elliptical galaxies are often considered 'dead' when compared to their spiral relatives. However, astronomers have spotted signs of a population of young, blue stars at the center of Messier 110 - hinting that it may not be so dead after all.
Hubble observation was taken in visible and near-infrared light with the
Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. The core of M110 is seen toward the
lower right of the image, with the galaxy's globular clusters and numerous
stars shown as points of light throughout the frame. Also featured in
this Hubble image are large clouds of gas and dust, seen as dark splotches
(one large region is located near the middle of the image and another,
smaller one appears above the galaxy's core). Hubble took these observations
of M110 to study the development of globular clusters located in the galaxy.