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Barred spiral galaxy UGC 6093, HST image

Barred spiral galaxy UGC 6093, HST image

C041/9613

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Credit

NASA / ESA / HUBBLE / STSCI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / ESA / HUBBLE / STSCI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Barred spiral galaxy UGC 6093, Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image. Classified as an active galaxy, UGC 6093 has an active galactic nucleus (AGN), a compact region at its centre within which material is dragged towards a supermassive black hole. As this black hole destroys the surrounding matter it emits intense radiation, causing it to shine brightly. UGC 6093 acts as a giant astronomical laser that emits light at microwave wavelengths. It is known as a megamaser (maser being the term for a microwave laser). Megamasers such as UGC 6093 can be some 100 million times brighter than masers found in galaxies like the Milky Way. UGC 6093 is 500 million light years from Earth, in the constellation of Leo. This optical, infrared and ultraviolet image was obtained with the HST's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). Image published in 2018.

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