Release 758 of 1,080

Magnificent Details in a Dusty Spiral Galaxy

Release date: Jun 3, 1999 12:00 PM (EDT)
Release type: Hubble Heritage

The Key Project team used this Hubble telescope view of the magnificent spiral galaxy, NGC 4414, to help calculate the expansion rate of the universe.

Based on their discovery and careful brightness measurements of variable stars in this galaxy, the Key Project astronomers were able to make an accurate determination of the distance to the galaxy. The resulting distance to NGC 4414, about 60 million light-years, along with similarly determined distances to other nearby galaxies, contributes to astronomers' overall knowledge of the expansion rate of the cosmos, and helps them determine the age of the universe.