Hunger Pangs

The subject of this Picture of the Week, a spiral galaxy named NGC 1589, was once the scene of a violent bout of cosmic hunger pangs; as astronomers looked on, a poor, hapless star was torn apart and devoured by the ravenous supermassive black hole at the centre of the galaxy.

The astronomers are now using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to test this interpretation. Hubble has observed such events before so the scientists are confident that Hubble will be able to provide smoking gun evidence in the form of stellar debris that was ejected during the disruption event.

Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA

About the Image

Id:potw2010a
Type:Observation
Release date:9 March 2020, 06:00
Size:1942 x 1746 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 1589
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
Distance:150 million light years
Constellation:Taurus
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

Large JPEG
829.7 KB
Screensize JPEG
218.5 KB

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185.7 KB
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713.0 KB

Coordinates

Position (RA):4 30 44.94
Position (Dec):0° 51' 42.73"
Field of view:1.28 x 1.15 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 69.2° left of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
g
475 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
H
1.6 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3

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