NASA's Hubble Telescope snaps RARE Lenticular galaxy

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has taken a snap of the unique Lenticular galaxy.

| Updated on: May 06 2023, 22:27 IST
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3/5 Centaurus A Galaxy (May 3) - This captured image shows the elliptical galaxy NGC 5128, also known as Centaurus A. This peculiar galaxy is located about 11 million light-years away towards the constellation of Centaurus and spans about 60,000 light-years across. According to NASA, Centaurus A is the closest active galaxy to Earth and is the result of the collision of two galaxies which caused star clusters and dark dust lanes to jumble up.  (NASA/Marco Lorenzi/Angus Lau/Tommy Tse)
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Galaxy NGC 5283 comprises around 10 percent of all galaxies, NASA explained. (NASA)

Despite decades of service and the launch of the latest James Webb Space Telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope has not stopped surprising scientists with its cosmic revelations. Recently, NASA's Hubble Telescope shared an image of lenticular galaxy NGC 5283. It contains an active galactic nucleus (AGN), which is an extremely bright region at the heart of a galaxy where a supermassive black hole exists. As matter falls into a black hole, it produces a release of energy that emits light throughout the electromagnetic spectrum due to the heating of the dust and gas.

What is a Lenticular galaxy? NASA says that it possesses characteristics of both spiral and elliptical galaxies. They share the central bulge and disk features of spiral galaxies, but they lack the spiral arms. Similar to elliptical galaxies, lenticular galaxies contain an older population of stars and have minimal ongoing star formation.

Scientists have developed a few hypotheses to explain the evolution of lenticular galaxies. One theory suggests that they are aging spiral galaxies in which the spiral arms have gradually faded. Another possibility is that lenticular galaxies formed as a result of mergers between spiral galaxies.

About NGC 5283 galaxy

NGC 5283 is classified as a Seyfert galaxy, which comprises around 10 percent of all galaxies. What sets Seyfert galaxies apart from other galaxies containing AGNs is that their galactic structure is clearly visible. In contrast, other AGNs emit such a high amount of radiation that they overpower their host galaxy, making it difficult to observe its structure.

Hubble observed NGC 5283 as part of a survey to collect data on nearby AGNs. This dataset will serve as a valuable resource for astronomers studying various aspects of AGN physics, black holes, host galaxy structures, and more.

Hubble Space Telescope

NASA Hubble Space Telescope was launched and deployed by the space shuttle Discovery in 1990. It has made more than 1.5 million observations over the course of its lifetime! More surprisingly, NASA has revealed that Hubble Telescope was designed to last roughly 15 years when it was launched in 1990.

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First Published Date: 06 May, 22:21 IST