Sometimes, an outrageously bright star can outshine an entire galaxy, but only if you’re looking from the right spot.
A new photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope reveals a bright star in the foreground upstaging a galaxy light-years from Earth.
While it looks like the star — named TYC 3203-450-1 — and the galaxy — called NGC 7250 — are right next to each other, that’s just a trick of the eye.
The star is actually much closer to the Hubble than the more distant galaxy. NGC 7250 — which is bursting with star formation — is about 45 million light-years away, while TYC 3203-450-1, located in the constellation Lacerta (The Lizard), is one million times closer, according to NASA.
“If the star were the same distance from us as NGC 7250, it would hardly be visible in this image,” NASA said in a statement.
The Hubble has transformed our view of the universe over the course of its 27 years in orbit.
The telescope has taken photo after unbelievable photo of distant galaxies and other cosmic objects, helping us understand more of what surrounds us in the cosmos.
NASA should continue operating the Hubble through at least 2020, but its replacement is already in the works.
The James Webb Space Telescope is expected to launch in 2018 and serve as the Hubble’s successor.