What to do with faint galaxies

We’ve received a number of questions on Talk about what to do with faint galaxies, like this one:

Galaxies like this one are not stars or artifacts, they are just veeeery faint, so faint that even a telescope as powerful as Hubble is stretched to its capabilities to image them. When you do see such a faint galaxy, please just answer the questions as best you can. In this case, I’d call this one “smooth”.

Don’t worry about the pixellation. The Wide Field Camera 3 infrared pixels are larger than those of Hubble’s optical camera, but the resolution is still very high. So, even though you see pixels in the image of the galaxy above, it’s actually well resolved. It just happens to be smooth and featureless…

So, what about this one?


Can you see features despite the noise, or is it smooth? It’s your call. Remember, most of these galaxies haven’t been seen before by humans, so there’s no right or wrong answer. Just do your best!

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6 responses to “What to do with faint galaxies”

  1. Tom zolotor (@FreeTheSoulss) says :

    These galaxies will be called FHB “Faint Hubble Blobs.” Kevin the astronomer said it was OK to name them that after my suggestion. 🙂 #FHB

  2. Tom zolotor (@FreeTheSoulss) says :

    People, Plz tag these type of galaxies with #fainthubbleblob #FHB


    Tom Zolotor

  3. mr_mediocre says :

    Thank you! I just recently started classifying again and those FHBs were causing me some consternation.

  4. PeterDzwig says :

    Question is how do these relate to the blobby objects that we saw in (say) GZH?

    • Jean Tate says :

      Great question! It would be very interesting to have a random sample of the former (‘bloopers’? ‘Blue caterpillars’? ‘BigFoots’??) available to classify, as imaged by CANDELS

  5. zutopian says :

    I suggest the improvement of the image quality! I checked it and it seems to be possible. I post altered CANDLES images on the forum.:

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