A new space image made public by scientists over at NASA earlier today shows PGC 18431, a dwarf galaxy located at a distance of about 31 million light-years from our planet, in the constellation Columba.
This neighboring dwarf galaxy, which also goes by the even-less-appealing monikers 2MASX J06071970-3412161 or HIPASS J0607-34, was recently studied by the Hubble Space Telescope as part of ongoing efforts to get a better idea of our place in the cosmos.
Thus, the Hubble Space Telescope obtained this latest view of it while hard at work mapping what astronomers call the Local Volume, i.e. a region of space measuring 35 million light-years across and that includes the Milky Way. Our cosmic neighborhood, if you will.
This image of PGC 18431, together with views of other galaxies that the Hubble Space Telescope zoomed in while exploring the Local Volume, will help scientists document star populations in our proximity and estimate their distance from us.
The end goal is to produce a three-dimensional map detailing the makeup of the universe around us and pinning down the exact location of the hundreds of galaxies that are part of the Local Volume.