A gorgeous new photo from the Hubble Space Telescope depicts Messier 90, a spiral galaxy roughly 60 million light-years away from our own Milky Way — but getting closer.
While the image itself is incredible, even more fascinating is the information astronomers discovered while capturing it. Messier 90 is one of very few galaxies moving toward the Milky Way, according to a statement from Hubble. Scientists are able to tell that the galaxy is coming closer to us because of the light coming from Messier 90.
„The galaxy is compressing the wavelength of its light as it moves towards us, like a slinky being squashed when you push on one end,“ Hubble representatives said in the statement. On the visible light spectrum, shorter wavelengths appear blue. So, because its light is compressed from our perspective, Messier 90 exhibits a phenomenon called „blueshift,“ which indicates to scientists that Messier 90 is moving closer to us.