Active galaxy Markarian 509

This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the galaxy Markarian 509. The bright object at the centre of the galaxy, which appears like a star, is an active galactic nucleus. This is a bright celestial phenomenon caused by matter glowing as it falls into a supermassive black hole at the heart of the galaxy.

The surroundings of the black hole in Markarian 509 have been studied in a major campaign which includes the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, as well as other telescopes in space and on the ground.


NASA, ESA, J. Kriss (STScI) and J. de Plaa (SRON)

About the Image

Release date:29 September 2011, 14:10
Related announcements:ann1121
Size:1500 x 1500 px

About the Object

Name:Mrk 509
Type:• Local Universe : Galaxy : Activity : AGN : Seyfert
Distance:500 million light years

Image Formats

Large JPEG
123.6 KB
Screensize JPEG
63.7 KB


Position (RA):20 44 9.73
Position (Dec):-10° 43' 24.17"
Field of view:0.17 x 0.17 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 56.6° left of vertical

Colours & filters

547 nm Hubble Space Telescope

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