Galaxy NGC 3982
A team of European astronomers is using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to look back in time. They have imaged the spiral galaxy NGC 3982 and hundreds of other galaxies in the hope that one of the millions of stars in these images will some day explode as a supernova. They can then look back and pinpoint the exact star that has exploded. Only two such supernova 'mother stars' have ever been identified.
This colour image is composed of three different exposures with Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 through a wide blue filter (450 seconds), a wide green filter (55000 seconds) and a wide red filter (25000 seconds)
The team is composed of Stephen J. Smartt, Justyn R. Maund, Gerry F. Gilmore (all University of Cambridge) and John Danziger (Trieste Observatory).
Image credit: European Space Agency and Stephen Smartt (University of Cambridge)
The composite image was constructed with data from the ESO/ST-ECF Science Archive. Additional Hubble exposures were obtained by A. Saha (National Optical Astronomy Observatories), L. Labhardt (Universität Basel), F. Macchetto, N. Panagia (both Space Telescope Science Institute) A. Sandage (Carnegie Institution of Washington) and G. Tammann (Universität Basel).