What’s in a name?

Not all galaxies have the luxury of possessing a simple moniker or quirky nickname. The subject of this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image was one of the unlucky ones, and goes by the rather unpoetic name of 2XMM J143450.5+033843.

Such a name may seem like a random jumble of numbers and letters, but like all galactic epithets it has a distinct meaning. This galaxy, for example, was detected and observed as part of the second X-ray sky survey performed by ESA’s XMM-Newton Observatory. Its celestial coordinates form the rest of the bulky name, following the “J”: a right ascension value of 14h 34m 50.5s (this can be likened to terrestrial longitude), and a declination of +03d 38m 43s (this can be likened to terrestrial latitude). The other fuzzy object in the frame was named in the same way — it is a bright galaxy named 2XMM J143448.3+033749.

2XMM J143450.5+033843 lies nearly 400 million light-years away from Earth. It is a Seyfert galaxy that is dominated by something known as an Active Galactic Nucleus — its core is thought to contain a supermassive black hole that is emitting huge amounts of radiation, pouring energetic X-rays out into the Universe.

Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA

About the Image

Id:potw1726a
Type:Observation
Release date:26 June 2017, 06:00
Size:3428 x 1983 px

About the Object

Name:2XMM J143450.5+033843
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Activity : AGN : Seyfert
Distance:400 million light years
Constellation:Virgo
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

Large JPEG
1.8 MB
Screensize JPEG
85.9 KB

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Coordinates

Position (RA):14 34 50.63
Position (Dec):3° 38' 43.61"
Field of view:2.85 x 1.65 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 98.4° left of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
B
435 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS

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