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OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Deceptively active M77

Published on Tuesday, 01 August 2017 14:44

OBU-M77Spiral galaxy M77. (ESO)
This is Messier 77, a textbook spiral galaxy appearing serene despite the active galactic nucleus at its centre. M77 is a bright object, and particularly bright at infrared wavelengths, as a Type II Seyfert Galaxy. In this false-colour image, H-alpha is rendered in pink, highlighting the young hot stars in the spiral arms. The surrounding filaments shown in red are relatively cool, despite being surrounded by gas at around 50 million degrees. The magnetic field maintains their structure, and controls how energy from the central black hole is transferred to the surrounding gas. The image, one of ESO’s Cosmic Gems, uses data from the FOcal Reducer and low dispersion Spectrograph 2 (FORS2) on Unit Telescope 1 (Antu) of the Very Large Telescope at Paranal, Chile. (ESO)

This image was published in the August 2017 issue of Astronomy & Geophysics.


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