MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Galactic core planet. Artwork of an alien planet (lower right) near the galactic core. The extreme conditions found here may mean that life cannot arise on this planet. The activity of the galactic core, probably due to a massive black hole at the centre, has formed energetic jets (running towards upper left and lower right). The dark band running in the opposite direction is made up of dust. The jets and the core will emit high-energy radiation such as X-rays and gamma rays. This would be fatal to known forms of life. A greater density of stars in the core makes it more likely that a supernova (explosion of a large star, upper left) will occur nearby. This also produces lethal radiation.
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