Release 701 of 1,080

"X" Marks the Spot: Hubble Sees the Glow of Star Formation in a Neighbor Galaxy

Release date: Jan 4, 2001 1:00 AM (EST)
Release type: Hubble Heritage

The saying "X" marks the spot holds true in this Hubble telescope image. In this case, X marks the location of Hubble-X, a glowing gas cloud in one of the most active star-forming regions in galaxy NGC 6822. The galaxy lies 1.6 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Sagittarius, one of the Milky Way's closest neighbors. This hotbed of star birth is similar to the fertile regions in the Orion Nebula in our Milky Way Galaxy, but on a vastly greater scale. The intense star birth in Hubble-X occurred about 4 million years ago, a small fraction of the approximate 10-billion-year age of the universe.