Active Galaxy Circinus

Resembling a swirling witch's cauldron of glowing vapors, the black hole-powered core of a nearby active galaxy appears in this colorful NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image. The galaxy lies 13 million light-years away in the southern constellation Circinus. This galaxy is designated a type 2 Seyfert, a class of mostly spiral galaxies that have compact centers and are believed to contain massive black holes. Seyfert galaxies are themselves part of a larger class of objects called Active Galactic Nuclei or AGN. AGN have the ability to remove gas from the centers of their galaxies by blowing it out into space at phenomenal speeds. Astronomers studying the Circinus galaxy are seeing evidence of a powerful AGN at the center of this galaxy as well.

Resembling a swirling witch's cauldron of glowing vapors, the black hole-powered core of a nearby active galaxy appears in this colorful NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image. The galaxy lies 13 million light-years away in the southern constellation Circinus.

This galaxy is designated a type 2 Seyfert, a class of mostly spiral galaxies that have compact centers and are believed to contain massive black holes. Seyfert galaxies are themselves part of a larger class of objects called Active Galactic Nuclei or AGN. AGN have the ability to remove gas from the centers of their galaxies by blowing it out into space at phenomenal speeds. Astronomers studying the Circinus galaxy are seeing evidence of a powerful AGN at the center of this galaxy as well.

Credit:

Andrew S. Wilson (University of Maryland); Patrick L. Shopbell (Caltech); Chris Simpson (Subaru Telescope); Thaisa Storchi-Bergmann and F. K. B. Barbosa (UFRGS, Brazil); and Martin J. Ward (University of Leicester, U.K.) and NASA/ESA

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Id:opo0037a
Type:Observation
Release date:30 November 2000, 07:00
Size:747 x 747 px

About the Object

Name:Circinus, IRAS 14092-6506
Type:• Local Universe : Galaxy : Activity : AGN : Seyfert
• X - Galaxies Images/Videos
Constellation:Circinus

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
OIII
502 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
V
547 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Infrared
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Infrared
H-alpha
656 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2

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