среда, 8 января 2020 г.

Hubble views a galaxy with an active centre


This swirling mass of celestial gas, dust and stars is a moderately luminous spiral galaxy named ESO 021-G004, located just under 130 million light-years away.

Hubble views a galaxy with an active centre
Spiral Galaxy ESO 021-G004 [Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, D. Rosario et al.]
This galaxy has something known as an active galactic nucleus. While this phrase sounds complex, this simply means that astronomers measure a lot of radiation at all wavelengths coming from the center of the galaxy.

This radiation is generated by material falling inward into the very central region of ESO 021-G004, and meeting the behemoth lurking there—a supermassive black hole.


As material falls toward this black hole it is dragged into orbit as part of an accretion disk; it becomes superheated as it swirls around and around, emitting characteristic high-energy radiation until it is eventually devoured.

The data comprising this image were gathered by the Wide Field Camera 3 aboard the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Source: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center [December 31, 2019]



* This article was originally published here

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