Hubble snaps curious pair of spiral galaxies 800 million light-years away from Earth


Devdiscourse News Desk | California | Updated: 21-05-2022 07:50 IST | Created: 21-05-2022 07:46 IST
Hubble snaps curious pair of spiral galaxies 800 million light-years away from Earth
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and B. Holwerda (University of Louisville Research Foundation, Inc.); Image processing: G. Kober (NASA Goddard/Catholic University of America)

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured a peculiar pair of spiral galaxies some 800 million light-years away from Earth. The duo dazzling in the new Hubble image is IC 4271, also known as Arp 40.

In this Hubble image, the smaller galaxy is superimposed on the larger one, which is a type of active galaxy called a Seyfert galaxy. The larger galaxy in this pair is a Type II Seyfert galaxy, meaning it is a very bright source of infrared and visible light.

According to NASA, Seyfert galaxies belong to the class of "active galaxies" – galaxies that have supermassive black holes at their centers accreting material, which releases vast amounts of radiation. The active cores of Seyfert galaxies are at their brightest when observed in the light outside the visible spectrum.

This latest picture uses data collected during Hubble observations designed to study the role of dust in shaping the energy distributions of low mass disk galaxies. The telescope explored six pairs of galaxies where one was in front of the other.

The broad range of light that Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) is sensitive to, along with its resolution, allowed the researchers to map the foreground galaxy's dust disk in fine detail across ultra-violet, visible, and infrared light, NASA said.

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