2019 August 22

Nearby Spiral Galaxy NGC 4945
Image Credit & Copyright:
Martin Pugh

Explanation: Large spiral galaxy NGC 4945 is seen edge-on near the center of this cosmic galaxy portrait. In fact, it’s almost the size of our Milky Way Galaxy. NGC 4945’s own dusty disk, young blue star clusters, and pink star forming regions standout in the sharp, colorful telescopic image. About 13 million light-years distant toward the expansive southern constellation Centaurus, NGC 4945 is only about six times farther away than Andromeda, the nearest large spiral galaxy to the Milky Way. Though this galaxy’s central region is largely hidden from view for optical telescopes, X-ray and infrared observations indicate significant high energy emission and star formation in the core of NGC 4945. Its obscured but active nucleus qualifies the gorgeous island universe as a Seyfert galaxy and home to a central supermassive black hole.

邻近的旋涡星系NGC 4945
Martin Pugh

说明:庞大的旋涡星系NGC 4945斜对着我们,位于这幅宇宙星系影像的中心附近。实际上,它几乎与我们的银河系一样大。NGC 4945满是尘埃的盘面、年轻的蓝色星团和粉色的恒星形成区在这幅清晰的彩色望远镜影像中格外显著。NGC 4945位于广阔南天的半人马座方向、距离我们约1300万光年远,只比仙女座(离银河系最近的庞大旋涡星系)的距离大约远六倍。虽然这个星系的中心区域在很大程度上因光学望远镜的视角而被遮挡,但在X射线和红外光下的观测表明,NGC 4945的星系核存在着明显的高能辐射和恒星形成活动。它模糊但活跃的星系核使这个壮丽的岛宇宙成为一个赛弗特星系,并且其核心还具有一颗特大质量黑洞。

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