Achievements of Subaru
The telescope is used for infrared and optical observations and it achieved first light for scientific observations in January 1999. Below is a gallery of just a few of the amazing images taken by Subaru.
On the far left is the beautiful spiral galaxy known as the Sunflower Galaxy, NGC 5055 (M63). At a distance of 37 million light-years, it is part of the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) group, and can be found in the constellation of Canes Venaciti.
In the middle is an image of the active galaxy NGC 4388, which is part of the Virgo cluster, and is at a distance of 60 million light years. The wispy cloud gas above the galaxy, shown in red, is over 110,000 light years across, and may be the remnants of a smaller galaxy absorbed by NGC 4388 or possibly the remains of gas that was left behind as the galaxy made its way into the Virgo cluster.
The image on the right is a visible light image of the spiral galaxy M81, located in the constellation Ursa Major. It is one of the brightest galaxies in the night sky with an apparent magnitude of 6.94, even at 11.7 million light years from Earth. This image shows the immense halo that surrounds the main galaxy, consisting of dust, gas, and uncounted unresolved stars that may lend credence to the theory that large galaxies form by the accretion of smaller galaxies, this halo being the residual material from these events. Using Subaru’s Suprime-Cam, astronomers were able to show details in the halo that had not been observed before.
Just recently, papers have been published on the discovery of the first Trojan asteroid at a Lagrangian point of Neptune, and dark gamma ray bursts using the Subaru telescope to gather the critical data.