Before it was shut down due to a computer glitch, the Hubble Space Telescope was able to capture an impressive picture of a deep space galaxy with a core that gives off the same amount of energy as the rest of the galaxy together.
The galaxy, known as NGC 3254, is not a spiral galaxy, like the Milky Way, but a Seyfert galaxy, a classification of types of galaxies that emit radiation from highly ionized gas.
Seyfert galaxies, which make up about 10 percent of all galaxies, have “highly active nuclei” and belong to a class of “active galaxies,” according to a statement from NASA.
The image of NGC 3254 is a composite of infrared and visible images taken by the Hubble Telescope.
NASA explained that when viewed from the side, it looks like a typical spiral galaxy, but in fact it has a wonderful secret hiding from everyone, which is that it is in fact the Seyfert galaxy, which can be seen best in light outside the visible spectrum.
And the US space agency added that these galaxies “have huge black holes in their centers in which material accumulates, which release huge amounts of radiation.”
Supermassive black holes, common throughout the universe, are defined as black holes with a mass between one million and one billion times the mass of a typical black hole.
NGC 3254 was first discovered in March 1785 by astronomer William Herschel, and is located in the smaller constellation Leo, about 118 million light-years from Earth.
A light year, which measures distance in space, is approximately 6 trillion miles.
In 1941, a supernova was detected within the galaxy, known as SN 1941B.
Hubble has discovered several other Seyfert galaxies in recent years, including a Milky Way-like galaxy called IRAS17020+4544, in 2016.
Separately that year, the telescope also spotted NGC 6814, which spans approximately 75,000 light-years, or half the size of the Milky Way.