(ORDO NEWS) — The bright “heart” of the M61 galaxy glitters majestically in this image, framed by spiral arms curling around it, pierced by dark “tentacles” of dust. In addition to the usual bright streaks of light, consisting of many stars, the spiral arms of the M61 galaxy are dotted with ruby-red glowing spots. These glittering regions, which are characteristic signs of recent star formation, make it possible to classify M61 as a starburst galaxy.
While this galaxy’s sparkling spiral is a stunning sight, one of the most interesting features of the galaxy M61 lurks from our eyes right in the center of this image. In the center of the galaxy there are numerous “pockets” in which intense star formation takes place, and there is a supermassive black hole weighing more than 5 million solar masses.
The galaxy M61, seen almost from above in this image, is very popular with amateur astronomers, even though it lies more than 52 million light-years from Earth. This particular image includes data from not only the Hubble, but also the FOcal Reducer and Spectrograph 2 camera of the ESO’s Very Large Telescope. The use of these data allowed us to reveal the smallest details of the structure of the galaxy M61.
This astonishing image is one of many examples of collaboration between teams of several different telescopes – astronomers often combine data from both ground-based and space telescopes to gain a deeper understanding of the universe.
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