New Years Eve galaxy from Hubble Telescope [PICTURE]

First Posted: Dec 31, 2012 06:53 PM EST

This beautiful spiral galaxy 45 million light-years away, slightly resembling exploding fireworks, was selected as the picture for today's New Years Eve 2013 by NASA. The Hubble Space Telescope captured this galaxy, NGC 1097, in the southern  constellation of Fornax (The Furnace). A fitting name, since this is a Seyfert galaxy, defined by a super-massive black hole 100 million times the mass of our sun in its center, which is drawing matter towards the middle of the galaxy.

This phenomenon causes the spectacular, bursting visual effect. The bright ring glowing with clouds of ionized hydrogen, around 5000 light-years in diameter, is a star-forming region, fuelled by the inflow of new material towards the central region.

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