Hubble captures a serene galaxy with a monster in the center


This week’s image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows the galaxy M91, a spiral galaxy with jumpers in the constellation Como Beraniki. It is relatively close to us, at a distance of 55 million light years, and is part of our local supercluster. M in his name stands for Messier, in honor of the French astronomer Charles Messier, who is famous for his catalog of astronomical objects that he created in the 1770s and 1780s. The designations of the objects he cataloged, from M1 to M110, are still used by astronomers.

Although it is undoubtedly a beautiful galaxy and shows a classic stripe or bright area of ​​dust and gas at its center where stars form, it was this galaxy that Hubble observed to learn about the monstrous black hole at its center. Like almost all galaxies, including the Milky Way, The M91 has a supermassive black hole at its center. The mass of the supermassive black hole M91 was calculated using Hubble data in 2009 and was found to be huge, 9.6-38 million times the mass of our Sun.

The spiral galaxy M91 fills the frame of this observation with a wide-field camera 3 from the NASA / ESA Hubble Space Telescope. M91 is located about 55 million light years from Earth in the constellation Como Berani and – as seen in this figure – is a spiral galaxy with jumpers. While the conspicuous M91 band creates a spectacular galactic portrait, it also hides an astronomical monster. Like our own galaxy, M91 contains a supermassive black hole in the center. A 2009 study using Hubble archival data found that this central black hole weighs somewhere between 9.6 and 38 million times more than the Sun. ESA / Hubble & NASA, J. Lee and the PHANGS-HST team

“Although Hubble’s archival data have allowed astronomers to weigh the central black hole of M91, recent observations have had other scientific purposes,” said Hubble scientists. to write. “This observation is part of an attempt to create a treasure trove of astronomical data that explores the connections between young stars and the cold gas clouds in which they form. To do this, astronomers used Hubble to produce ultraviolet and visible observations of galaxies that are already visible on radio waves using the terrestrial Large Millimeter / Submillimeter Atacama Massif.

This image was collected as part of the Physics at High Angular Resolution in Nearby GalaxieS project using the Hubble Space Telescope or the PHANGS-HST project. Preliminary images of Hubble collected for this project include spiral galaxy NGC 2835 and spiral galaxy NGC 4571.

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Hubble captures a serene galaxy with a monster in the center

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