Explore NASA Astronomy Image Of The Day, A Magnificent Grand Design Galaxy

hero m100 nasa hubble image
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope continues to provide awe-inspiring images of deep space, as the space agency shares an image the observatory captured of galaxy M100 as its Picture of the Day. Hubble captured the superb image using its Wide Field Camera 3. The image was previously featured as Picture of the Day back on December 25, 2018.

M100 is considered to be a classic example of a grand design spiral galaxy. It is located nearly 55 million light years from Earth in the Coma Berenices constellation, close to the better-known Leo constellation. M100 was discovered in 1781 and spans one and a half times the size of our own Milky Way galaxy, or roughly 160,000 light years from one side to the other.

m100 hubble images

Hubble has not been able to continue snapping photos without a few upgrades to its camera equipment. The image above shows how the space observatory's cameras have improved over time. The image on the far left was taken in 1993 with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 1. The image in the center was taken in late 1993 with Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, which was installed during a space shuttle servicing mission in December of 1993. The image on the far right was captured using Wide Field Camera 3, which was installed on Hubble during a space shuttle mission in May, 2009.

M100 has become well-known to astronomers due to five stars that have become supernovas within the galaxy between 1901 and 2006. These exploding stars are very useful in aiding astronomers in calibrating distance scales in the universe, and to estimate the age of the known universe.

Even with the addition of newer space telescopes, such as the James Webb Space Telescope, Hubble continues to hold its own in terms of ability and value.