NASA, GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA, GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
M77 active barred spiral galaxy. Ultraviolet image of galaxy M77, which is 49 million light years from Earth. It contains an active and bright nucleus (white centre) which is surrounded by regions of intense star formation activity (blue- white). It has been suggested that the core of the galaxy contains a massive black hole with the mass of several million Suns. The halo (purple) seen around the central region is caused by clouds of dust in the outer regions of M77 scattering ultraviolet radiation towards the Earth. The image was taken by the ASTRO-1 telescope on board the Space Shuttle.
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