(ORDO NEWS) — This image, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3, shows the majestic wide arms of the spiral galaxy NGC 5495.
About 300 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Hydra, NGC 5495 is a Seyfert galaxy with a particularly bright central region.
This image is taken from a series of observations made by astronomers studying supermassive black holes lurking in the hearts of other galaxies.
Studying the central regions of galaxies can be challenging: matter falling into supermassive black holes, star-forming regions and stars all contribute to the brightness of galactic nuclei.
Hubble has helped astronomers make sense of the various light sources at NGC 5495’s core, allowing them to precisely weigh the galaxy’s supermassive black hole.
In addition to NGC 5495, two stellar intruders were also photographed. One is near the center of NGC 5495, while the other can be seen close to the galaxy.
Although they are in the same region in the sky, these objects are much closer to us than NGC 5495, as they are stars from our own Milky Way.
Bright stars are surrounded by cross diffraction bursts, optical artifacts created by Hubble’s internal structure interacting with starlight.
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