Hubble’s latest image shows an explosive galaxy, NGC 4051, located 45 million years from Earth. Stars there, are lighting up the galaxy as they die.
When massive stars approach their last stellar evolutionary stages, a supernova is what follows. When they die, they light up the cosmos with bright, explosive bursts of light and material. These events are incredibly energetic and extremely bright.
Such explosions are so bright that they become visible even from afar using telescopes such as the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
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The latest photo from the Hubble telescope is the exact sample. You can see the explosive events scattered throughout the center and spiral arms of NGC 4051.
NGC 4051 galaxy is known to host a large number of supernovae over the years. Astronomers observed the first one in 1983 (SN 1983I), followed by the second in 2003 (SN 2003ie), and the most recent in 2010 (SN 2010br).
Astronomers categorized both SN 1983I and SN 2010br as Type Ic supernovae. This type of supernova is produced by the core collapse of a massive star that has lost its outer layer of hydrogen and helium, either via winds or by mass transfer to a companion star.
NGC 4051 lies in the southern part of a cluster of galaxies, the Ursa Major I Cluster. This cluster contains a lot of spirals like NGC 4051 and lies in a larger cluster, the Virgo Supercluster, which is also home to our own galaxy.