Angry Black Hole Or Cosmic Whirlpool? New Hubble Photo Will Have You Seeing Both

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Novel images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope show a galaxy having an energetic black hole that is partially hidden by dark dust. NGC 7172, a spiral galaxy in the region Piscis Austrinus, is roughly 110 million light-years away from Earth. The Hubble Space Telescope’s Enhanced Instrument for Surveys & Wide Field Camera 3 captured the pictures used to create this composite image.

 (credit: ESA/Hubble/NASA/D. J. Rosario/A. Barth; Acknowledgment: L. Shatz)

There are black threads of dust strewn over the galaxy’s core in the latest NASA picture, which was released on April 1. The galaxy’s luminous center is hidden under a layer of dust.

NGC 7172 seems to be a typical spiral galaxy when seen from the side because of its wispy tentacles. According to NASA, NGC 7172 features a very bright, dynamic galactic center.

Astronomers rapidly found that NGC 7172 had a lot more going on than first thought, NASA officials noted in a press release. An active galactic nucleus fueled by the supermassive black hole in NGC 7172 is indeed a Seyfert galaxy—a kind of galaxy with an incredibly brilliant active galactic core.

The galaxy’s supermassive black hole generates dazzling beams of light as it consumes dust and gas. To put it another way, an active galactic nucleus produces more radiation than the whole galaxy.

A study of neighboring active galactic nuclei necessitated the use of Hubble’s most recent findings. Since its deployment in April 1990, Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) has been surveying the cosmos.

Hubble’s contributions to astronomical science are vast. It has helped astronomers determine the age of the universe, map out farther galaxies, and accurately depict other planets in the universe. Though we still have a long way to go before discovering the intricacies of the universe, Hubble will continue to be a key element in our discoveries as we explore beyond this planet.

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