NASA's Hubble Captures Rare Snowflake Galaxy With Monster Blackhole
New photos of a strange, spiral galaxy that looks like a snowflake has been released by NASA. The pictures of the said galaxy, tagged as NGC 6814, was captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.
According to The Weather Channel, NASA's photos showed NGC 6814's snowflake shape with a bright nucleus center surrrounded by wing-like spiral arms. The NGC 6814's nucleus categorized as a Seyfert Galaxy, which are ususally characterized by bright centers that emit strong radiation.
However, beyond it's bright nucleus is a dark secret. Scientists speculate that NGC 6814's center is home to a supermassive blackhole as it's a strong source of X-Ray radiation. The said blackhole can be about 18 million times bigger and heavier than the sun.
Meanwhile, the spiral galaxy's intricate arms are composed of dark dust dotted with regions of ionized gas, forming what appears like bright blue stars scattered throughout the galaxy. The NGC 6814, a very active galaxy, is half the size of the Milky Way or 75,000 light years and about 66 million light years away, as per Daily Mail.
NASA has recently discovered the existence of super spiral galaxies earlier this year. This super spiral galaxies, accordingn to scientists, are bigger than our own and could shed light on the origin of big galaxies in the universe. For years, super spirals have been left unnoticed as they mimick normal spiral galaxies.
John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said via The Weather Channel, "Hubble gives us a front row seat to the awe-inspiring universe we live in."
The Hubble Telescope has recently celebrated its 26th birthday since its launch on April 24, 1990. Since then, the Hubble Telescope has provided NASA and Earth a sneak peek of extraterrestrial space including neighboring galaxies and stars.
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