NGC 4395, a spiral galaxy located 14 million light-years from Earth, is home to a supermassive black hole. It is what astronomers refer to as a Seyfert Galaxy. This means that it contains a bright, active galactic core (AGN). In celebration of black hole week, NASA has shared a new Hubble photo of NGC 4395.
The supermassive galaxies that are at the heart of NGC 4395 power the AGNs. In this Hubble photo of the central region of the galaxy, astronomers could see the nuclei which spread radiation across the galaxy.
This new Hubble photo of NGC 4395 shows that the AGNs found inside this Seyfert galaxy are much lower luminosity compared to other galaxies of this type. The supermassive black hole found within is estimated to have a mass of over 10,000 times our Sun.
But NGC 4395’s uniqueness doesn’t stop there. The Seyfert Galaxy is a dwarf galaxy that lacks the bulge at its center. Hubble captured several photos of NGC 4395, including some of its spiral arms, showcasing the galaxy’s beauty and uniqueness.
The study of galaxies like NGC 4395 is essential, too, because they help astronomers better understand black holes and the parts that they play in our universe. Every observation reveals new information that can be used by astronomers.
Further, as NASA and others continue to observe these black holes, we reveal new secrets about our galaxy and even our universe, such as the fact that there are rogue black holes roaming through space, not locked to any specific galaxy or stars. Hubble’s photo of NGC 4395 is just another close look at the spectacle that black holes offer for distant observers.
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