The galaxy NGC 6956 (Photo: NASA, ESA, and D. Jones (University of California – Santa Cruz); Processing: Gladys Kober (NASA/Catholic University of America))
Although the young Jace Webb space telescope has been grabbing all the attention since it was launched in December 2022, its older brother, the Hubble Space Telescope, which has already served humanity for 32 years in space, continues to provide spectacular images.
The old telescope took a beautiful photo of the spiral galaxy NGC 6956, which is 214 million light years from Earth.
Scientists used Hubble to study the galaxy's Cepheid variables (giant stars with visible brightness that changes with a regular cycle).
These stars serve as "standard candles" that astronomers use to measure distances in the universe.
This, by measuring the time required for them to lighten and pale.
In video: NASA released first images from the James Webb Space Telescope (NASA)
This galaxy also contains a type la supernova (a condition where a massive star collapses in on itself) - the explosion of a white dwarf star that has gradually accreted and absorbed material from a nearby star.
Like cupid variable stars, the brightness of this type of supernova and the speed at which they dim over time allows scientists to calculate their distance.
Thus, scientists can use these measurements to determine the rate of expansion of the universe.