NASA Discover Snowflake Galaxy WIth Radiation-Emitting Supermassive Blackhole
NASA has released a new set of photos of weird-looking spiral galaxy that looks akin to a snowflake. The Hubble Space Telescope was instrumental behind this discovery.
As reported by The Weather Channel, the said galaxy has been called the NGC 6814.
The NG6814 is shaped like a snowflake with a bright nucleus center. Surrounding it are wing-like spiral arms. It is said that its very bright nucleus means it its emitting strong radiation.
According to the scientists, the bright nucleus is home to a supermassive blackhole. As such, it can be a strong X-Ray radiation source. The scientists also estimate that compared to the sun, the supermassive blackhole to be around 18 million times bigger and heavier.
Mail Online UK reported that the galaxy's arms are actually made up of regions of ionized gas. It is said that the NGC6814 galaxy is a very active one. It is estimated to be already half the size of the Milky Way. Moreover, it is calculated to be around 66 million light years away.
The discovery was aided by the Hubble Space Telescope, which John Grunsfeld, NASA's Science Mission Directorate astronaut and associate administrator said had been equally helpful in their other discoveries. ""Hubble gives us a front row seat to the awe-inspiring universe we live in," he said, as reported by The Weather Channel.
The Hubble Telescope has been aiding NASA for 26 years now. It was launched on April 24, 1990. Since then, it made it possible for people on Earth to have a glimpse of the extraterrestrial space, the galaxies and stars.
Recently, the Hubble showed the Comet 252P/Linear zoomed past Earth on March 21. It then went spinning like a lawn sprinkler. This serves as one of the closest encounters between Earth and a comet.
NASA reported that the comet traversed within 3.3 million miles of Earth. This is around 14 times the distance between the Earth and the moon.