星系NGC 1097

2022年11月16日

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In the Arms of NGC 1097
Image Credit & Copyright:
Mike Selby, Mark Hanson

Explanation: Spiral galaxy NGC 1097 shines in southern skies, about 45 million light-years away in the heated constellation Fornax. Its blue spiral arms are mottled with pinkish star forming regions in this colorful galaxy portrait. They seem to have wrapped around a small companion galaxy above and right of center, about 40,000 light-years from the spiral’s luminous core. That’s not NGC 1097’s only peculiar feature, though. This very deep exposure hints of faint, mysterious jets, seen to extend well beyond the bluish arms. In fact, four faint jets are ultimately recognized in optical images of NGC 1097. The jets trace an X centered on the galaxy’s nucleus, but probably don’t originate there. Instead, they could be fossil star streams, trails left over from the capture and disruption of a much smaller galaxy in the large spiral’s ancient past. A Seyfert galaxy, NGC 1097’s nucleus also harbors a supermassive black hole.

Tomorrow’s picture: pixels in space


星系NGC 1097
图像提供与版权:
Mike Selby

说明: 在南天的天炉座里散发光芒的螺旋星系NGC 1097,离我们约有4千5百万光年远。在这幅彩色星系图像里,它泛蓝螺旋臂上,散布着粉红的恒星形成区,而其螺旋臂则看似在拥抱中下方、距离明亮星系核约40,000光年的小型伴星系。不过,这并不是NGC 1097唯一的独特之处,这幅极深空图像,更隐约呈现了数道神秘而且远超出泛蓝螺旋臂的暗淡喷流。如果仔细探究NGC 1097的光学图像,最终可辨识出4道喷流,而且它们在星系核心形成了一个X形的交叉,不过,核心或许不是它们的源头。实际上,它们较可能是孑遗的恒星流,是这个大星系在很久以前捕获和拆解另一个小星系的遗迹。分类为西佛星系的NGC 1097,其核心藏着一颗超大质量黑洞。

明日的图片: pixels in space

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