HALE OBSERVATORIES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HALE OBSERVATORIES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Photograph of the Seyfert-type galaxy NGC 4151. Seyfert-type galaxies are characterised by very small and bright nuclei in which the gas is moving at extremely high velocities (up to 5000 kilometres per second). The source of the intense energy emitted from the centre of these galaxies is uncertain. One possibility is that they are powered by a large black hole at the galactic centre. The bright spots near the galaxy in this photograph are foreground stars. The picture was taken with the 5-metre Hale Telescope at Mount Palomar in the USA.
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