NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 26 January 2023: Dazzling Active Galaxy | Tech News

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 26 January 2023: Dazzling Active Galaxy

NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is a mesmerizing snapshot of the Active Galaxy NGC 1275 residing at the center of Perseus Galaxy Cluster.

| Updated on: Jan 26 2023, 11:44 IST
Top astronomy photos of the week by NASA: Galaxy wars, Nebula, Moon to Sun, check them out
NASA Active Galaxy NGC 1275
1/7 On January 14, NASA released an image of Perihelion Sun 2023, the image was taken after January 4, at the Earth's closest approach to the Sun. It was taken less than 24 hours after the earth's close approach. (Peter Ward (Barden Ridge Observatory))
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2/7 On January 15, another photograph was released of The Crab Nebula snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope. The Crab Nebula, the result of a supernova seen in 1054 AD, is filled with mysterious filaments. ( NASA, ESA, Hubble, J. Hester, A. Loll (ASU))
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3/7 On January 16, NASA released an image of Moon Enhanced. The featured image is a composite of multiple images enhanced to bring up real surface features. The dark areas in the image, called maria, have fewer craters and were once seas of molten lava. Additionally, the image colours, although based on the moon's real composition, are changed, and exaggerated. (Darya Kawa Mirza)
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4/7 On January 17, the image of unexpected clouds toward the Andromeda Galaxy was released. (Yann Sainty & Marcel Drechsler)
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5/7 Image of MACS0647: Gravitational Lensing of the Early Universe Captured by James Webb Space Telescope was released by NASA on January 18. ( NASA, ESA, CSA, Dan Coe (STScI), Rebecca Larson (UT), Yu-Yang Hsiao (JHU); Processing: Alyssa Pagan (STScI); Text: Michael Rutkowski (Minn. St. U. Mankato))
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6/7 On January 19, the image of The Seagull Nebula was released. The complex of gas and dust clouds with other stars of the Canis Majoris OB1 association spans over 200 light-years. (Carlos Taylor)
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7/7 Galaxy Wars: M81 and M82, this image was released on January 20. On the right, with grand spiral arms and bright yellow core is spiral galaxy M81.  (Andreas Aufschnaiter)
NASA Active Galaxy NGC 1275
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Active Galaxy NGC 1275 is located nearly 250 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Perseus. (NASA/ESA/Hubble Telescope/Andrew Fabian)

In the Universe, galaxies exist in the vast expanse of space. But they are not alone. In fact, galaxies exist in huge groups which are closely connected by gravity. Most galaxies exist in groups or clusters with dozens or hundreds of members, and these cluster galaxies are all in constant motion, pulled and twisted by their neighbour's gravity. Galaxy clusters are the largest objects in the Universe bound by gravity and astronomers can use them to measure important cosmological properties, according to NASA.

Galaxy Clusters are also known to contain dark matter which is invisible to telescopes since they do not emit, absorb, or reflect any electromagnetic radiation. NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day is a mesmerizing snapshot of the Active Galaxy NGC 1275 which spans over 100,000 light-years. NGC 1275 is part of the Perseus Cluster of Galaxies. One of the closest and most studied galaxy clusters, the Perseus Galaxy Cluster of Galaxies is located nearly 250 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Perseus. NGC 1275 is a massive elliptical galaxy located at the center of the galaxy cluster.

The stunning picture was captured by the Hubble Space Telescope which is run in collaboration by NASA and ESA. Professor Andrew C Fabian OBE, an astronomer and astrophysicist of the University of Cambridge was also involved in the capturing of this amazing celestial object.

NASA explains

Active galaxy NGC 1275 is the central, dominant member of the large and relatively nearby Perseus Cluster of Galaxies. Wild-looking at visible wavelengths, the active galaxy is also a prodigious source of x-rays and radio emission. NGC 1275 accretes matter as entire galaxies fall into it, ultimately feeding a supermassive black hole at the galaxy's core. This color composite image made from Hubble Space Telescope data recorded during 2006. It highlights the resulting galactic debris and filaments of glowing gas, some up to 20,000 light-years long. The filaments persist in NGC 1275, even though the turmoil of galactic collisions should destroy them.

What keeps the filaments together? Observations indicate that the structures, pushed out from the galaxy's center by the black hole's activity, are held together by magnetic fields. Also known as Perseus A, NGC 1275 spans over 100,000 light years and lies about 230 million light years away.

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First Published Date: 26 Jan, 11:43 IST