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News Release Archive:

News Release 154 of 967

November 17, 2011 02:00 PM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2011-37

NASA's Hubble Confirms that Galaxies Are the Ultimate Recyclers

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Image: Hubble Probes the Invisible Halo of a Galaxy

Hubble Probes the Invisible Halo of a GalaxySTScI-PRC2011-37a

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Distant quasars serve as distant lighthouse beacons that shine through the gas-rich "fog" of hot plasma encircling galaxies. At ultraviolet wavelengths, Hubble's Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) is sensitive to absorption from many ionized heavy elements, such as nitrogen, oxygen, and neon. COS's high sensitivity allows many galaxies that happen to lie in front of the much more distant quasars to be studied. The ionized heavy elements serve as proxies for estimating how much mass is in a galaxy's halo.

Image Type: Illustration

Illustration Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)

Science Credit: NASA, ESA, N. Lehner (University of Notre Dame), T. Tripp (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), and J. Tumlinson (STScI)

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