Green Pea Galaxy Illustration
An attempt to visualize what a green pea galaxy might look like if we could see one up close. Hubble recently took an observation of one, and it left me a tad dissatisfied. Did you know that there is no nearby example of a green pea galaxy, or anything even similar? Actually, these tiny smudges are considered nearby compared to, say, something twice as far away. What I mean is they are small enough and far enough away that we can't see any details. They are near enough to do spectroscopy though, which tells us a lot about them.
I decided to illustrate how I thought it might look, but my first try needed some modification. After a brief Twitter exchange, Drs. Sangeeta Malhortra and William Keel set me in the right direction. Hate on Twitter all you want, but it's sometimes very useful!
I used a combination of clone stamp painting for the star clusters and free airbrushing with my pen tablet for the green clouds/streamers. The base galaxy I modified was a real dwarf galaxy I processed a while back: flic.kr/p/XgFVxh
There's a really great figure in this paper showing some pea galaxy details! They are still quite small and fuzzy, but some of the tendrils can be seen in some of them.
Data from Gems of the Galaxy Zoos inspired this work. Specifically, observations jds42kcfq and jds42kceq. The original observed galaxy takes up about 21x31 pixels on the detector.
If this was a real observation, it would probably use a combination of wideband near-infrared, visible green, and near-UV filters along with narrowband H-alpha and [OIII] filters.
North is technically 136.53° clockwise from up.