Feb 16, 2019 | Updated: 07:41 AM EST

NASA/ESA Update: Hubble Captured Detailed View Of Milky Way's Closest Galaxy NGC 1448, It Has A Supermassive Black Hole

Mar 14, 2017 10:21 AM EDT


The Hubble Space Telescope collaborated by NASA and European Space Agency(ESA) has finally captured stunning imaged of NGC 1448. It is one of the closest galaxy of Milky Way, nearly 56 million light years away. NGC 1448 is the member of a little constellation named Horologium.

In the year 1935 on October 24, British astronomer John Herschel discovered this galaxy. NGC 1448 has some another name too, it is also known as LEDA 13727 and ESO 249-16. According to Sci NEWS, this galaxy belongs to the family of the NGC 1433 group and this group is the part of the Doradus cloud of galaxies.

NGC 1448 is categorized as an unbarred spiral galaxy. However, a spiral galaxy might look static with their picturesque shapes frozen in space but, the actual truth is far different. All of the stars living inside the spiral galaxy travel towards the center of the galaxy like a whirlpool. When a star becomes closer to the core, it's become faster.

If all of the stars are traveling towards the center, then why the arms of the spiral don't shrink, this question always puzzles scientists. It's been thought that the arms wrap around the spinning core and make the core tighter and tighter but, it is not true.

In January 2017, a group of scientists from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory led by Daniel Stern first found a supermassive black hole in the center of NGC 1448. By using NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) Stern and his colleagues also found a large number of nursery stars in NGC 1448, even some of them are only just 5 million years old. NASA says that evidence of new stars suggest that the galaxy produces new stars at the same time when It's Black hole swallows dust and gasses.

Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) captured various pictures of NGC 1448 in different exposures and finally composited. To capture the galaxy in a different wavelength Hubble used three filters such as the green filter F555W, the near-infrared filter F814W, and the very broad filter F350LP. All of the color information including different hues to each monochromatic image were associated with an individual filter.

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