A new photo of Messier 90, one of the 1,200 galaxies of the Virgo Cluster, was captured from the Hubble Space Telescope. Even though the image of Messier 90 is impressive, the astronomers found out that the galaxy is getting closer to the Milky Way, and that’s a rare phenomenon.
Also, the fact that this galaxy heads towards the Milky Way puzzles the scientists because it’s allegedly the only one from the Virgo Cluster to do that, while the other galaxies in the cluster are moving farther from our home galaxy.
According to the scientists from Hubble, the clue indicating that the galaxy is getting closer is the light coming from it. “The galaxy is compressing the wavelength of its light as it moves towards us, like a slinky being squashed when you push on one end. On the visible light spectrum, shorter wavelengths appear blue. So, because its light is compressed from our perspective, Messier 90 exhibits a phenomenon called ‘blueshift,’” the Hubble team explained.
Messier 90 galaxy heads towards the Milky Way, and that’s a rare phenomenon
We now know that there are many galaxies out there, but due to the universe expansion, the majority of those galaxies travel away from the Milky Way – their light is expanding toward the red end of the visible light spectrum (redshift).
Hubble states that the Virgo Cluster’s incredible mass is responsible for Messier 90 trajectory towards the Milky Way, as the galaxies catch high velocities within the cluster and are sent to strange orbits, towards and away from us over time.
The camera used to capture the image of Messier 90 is made up of four light detectors with overlapping fields of view; one out of four having higher magnification than the other three. Therefore the picture is drawn up with a staircase-shaped hole at the top. The fantastic photo captured by Hubble Space Telescope combines infrared, ultraviolet and visible light.