NGC 1566:西班牙舞者螺旋星系

2019 July 2

NGC 1566:西班牙舞者螺旋星系
NASA, ESA, Hubble; 图像处理与版权: Leo Shatz

说明: 如果长成这个模样还不够完美的话,那么至少这个螺旋星系是最上相者之一。拥有数十亿颗成员星,位在剑鱼座方向约4千万光年远处的宇宙岛 NGC 1566,以壮丽的正面对着我们。分类为宏伟螺旋星系的NGC 1566,拥有二道鲜明且优雅的螺旋臂,上头镶着明亮的泛蓝星团和黝黑的尘埃带。 哈伯太空望远镜过去曾为NGC 1566拍下大量的影像,以研究这个星系的恒星诞生、超新星和异常活跃的星系核。其中部分的影像存放在在线的哈伯遗珍数据库里,后来为由一位勤勉的业余工作者,免费下载、组合和数字处理成这幅主题影像。NGC 1566闪耀的星系核,让它成为离我们最近也最亮的西佛型螺旋星系,其核心可能藏着一颗超大质量的黑洞,不停肆虐周遭的恒星和气体。

NGC 1566: The Spanish Dancer Spiral Galaxy
Image Credit:
NASA, ESA, Hubble; Processing & Copyright: Leo Shatz

Explanation: If not perfect, then this spiral galaxy is at least one of the most photogenic. An island universe containing billions of stars and situated about 40 million light-years away toward the constellation of the Dolphinfish (Dorado), NGC 1566 presents a gorgeous face-on view. Classified as a grand design spiral, NGC 1566’s shows two prominent and graceful spiral arms that are traced by bright blue star clusters and dark cosmic dust lanes. Numerous Hubble Space Telescope images of NGC 1566 have been taken to study star formation, supernovas, and the spiral’s unusually active center. Some of these images, stored online in the Hubble Legacy Archive, were freely downloaded, combined, and digitally processed by an industrious amateur to create the featured image. NGC 1566’s flaring center makes the spiral one of the closest and brightest Seyfert galaxies, likely housing a central supermassive black hole wreaking havoc on surrounding stars and gas.