A galaxy with a bright heart

This Picture of the Week shows the unbarred spiral galaxy NGC 5033, located about 40 million light-years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). The galaxy is similar in size to our own galaxy, the Milky Way, at just over 100 000 light-years across. Like in the Milky Way NGC 5033’s spiral arms are dotted with blue regions, indicating ongoing star formation. The blue patches house hot, young stars in the process of forming, while the older, cooler stars populating the galaxy’s centre cause it to appear redder in colour.

In contrast to the Milky Way NGC 5033 is missing a central bar. Instead it has a bright and energetic core called an active galactic nucleus, which is powered by a supermassive black hole. This active nucleus gives it the classification of a Seyfert galaxy. Due to the ongoing activity the core of NGC 5033 shines bright across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. This released energy shows that the central black hole is currently devouring stars, dust and gas getting to close to it. As this matters falls onto the supermassive black hole, it radiates in many different wavelengths.

While its relative proximity to Earth makes it an ideal target for professional astronomer to study its active nucleus in more detail, its big apparent size on the night sky and its brightness also makes it a beautiful target for amateur astronomers.

Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA
Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt

About the Image

Id:potw1843a
Type:Observation
Release date:22 October 2018, 06:00
Size:1143 x 1005 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 5033
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
Local Universe : Galaxy : Activity : AGN : Seyfert
Distance:40 million light years
Constellation:Canes Venatici
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

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577.7 KB
Screensize JPEG
310.9 KB

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433.4 KB
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573.8 KB
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753.6 KB
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Coordinates

Position (RA):13 13 27.51
Position (Dec):36° 35' 37.98"
Field of view:0.48 x 0.42 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 26.4° right of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
V
555 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
V
555 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS

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