Monday, October 03, 2022

A Spiral Snowflake | Hubble

A Spiral Snowflake | Hubble

Spiral galaxies together with irregular galaxies make up approximately 60% of the galaxies in the local Universe. However, despite their prevalence, each spiral galaxy is unique—like snowflakes, no two are alike. This is demonstrated by the striking face-on spiral galaxy NGC 6814, whose luminous nucleus and spectacular sweeping arms, rippled with an intricate pattern of dark dust, are captured in this NASA/European Space Agency Hubble Space Telescope image.

Distance: 75 million light years

NGC 6814 has an extremely bright nucleus, a telltale sign that the galaxy is a Seyfert galaxy. These galaxies have very active centers that can emit strong bursts of radiation. The luminous heart of NGC 6814 is a highly variable source of X-ray radiation, causing scientists to suspect that it hosts a supermassive black hole with a mass about 18 million times that of the Sun.

As NGC 6814 is a very active galaxy, many regions of ionized gas are studded along  its spiral arms. In these large clouds of gas, a burst of star formation has recently taken place, forging the brilliant blue stars that are visible scattered throughout the galaxy.

Credit: European Space Agency (ESA)/Hubble & NASA

Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt (Geckzilla)

Release Date: May 9, 2016

#NASA #ESA #Hubble #Astronomy #Space #Science #Stars #Galaxy #NGC6814 #SeyfertGalaxy #Aquila #Constellation #Cosmos #Universe #SpaceTelescope #Goddard #GSFC #STScI #JPL #UnitedStates #Europe #STEM #Education

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