MUSE — running through the 3D data of NGC 4650A

This view shows how the new MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope gives a three-dimensional view of a distant galaxy. For each part of the galaxy the light has been split up into its component colours — revealing not only the motions of different parts of the galaxy but also clues to its chemical composition and other properties. At certain wavelengths the emission from the rotating disc around the galaxy is clearly seens, as well as the different velocities of different parts of the disc.

During the subsequent analysis the astronomer can move through the data and study different views of the object at different wavelengths, just like tuning a television to different channels at different frequencies. In this sequence the slices at different wavelengths are presented in sequence and the speed is adjusted to highlight the glow from star formation regions in the disc.

This picture is based on data on the polar ring galaxy NGC 4650A that were obtained soon after the instrument achieved first light in early 2014.


ESO/MUSE consortium/R. Bacon/L. Calçada

About the Video

Release date:5 March 2014, 12:00
Related releases:eso1407
Duration:02 m 27 s
Frame rate:30 fps

About the Object

Name:MUSE, NGC 4650A
Type:Unspecified : Technology : Observatory : Instrument

Ultra HD (info)



Large QT
34.9 MB


Video Podcast
25.4 MB
Medium MPEG-1
60.9 MB
Medium Flash
30.6 MB


Small Flash
10.9 MB
Small QT
6.2 MB

For Broadcasters