It is finally October, and this means everyone here at CosmoQuest is thinking about just two things: our Hangout-a-thon on October 23 and 24 and Halloween. I, for one, will be dressing up as a panda because Po. Halloween, honestly, is a state of mind, and many of us dress up on a regular basis for sci-fi cons and… Well, do really need a reason? This galaxy certainly didn’t.
Galaxy NGC 5278 is about 130 million light-years away, and in this new Hubble Space Telescope image, it looks strikingly like an eye. In this image, we’re only looking at the innermost structure of the galaxy, and within the outline of young blue stars and star formation is a dense region of activity. There are both clouds of star formation, and invisibly lurking in the center, is an active black hole that is chowing down on infalling gas, dust, and other material.
This image was released by ESA as essentially a pretty picture release. This is the scientist equivalent of someone running around going, “OMG, look at this awesome picture we took!” A close look at the byline for this image shows A. Riess, and we’re thinking that may refer to Nobel laureate Adam Riess, and we look forward to seeing what new science he is pulling from this data set and how it will help us measure our expanding universe.
ESA press release