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The Hubble showdown: Starbursts versus monsters

Date:
February 23, 2014
Source:
NASA
Summary:
The dominating figure in the middle of this new Hubble image is a galaxy known as MCG-03-04-014. It belongs to a class of galaxies called luminous infrared galaxies -- galaxies that are incredibly bright in the infrared part of the spectrum.

MCG-03-04-014 (shown in middle).
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt

The dominating figure in the middle of this new Hubble image is a galaxy known as MCG-03-04-014. It belongs to a class of galaxies called luminous infrared galaxies -- galaxies that are incredibly bright in the infrared part of the spectrum.

This galaxy's status as a luminous infrared galaxy makes it part of an interesting astronomical question: starbursts versus monsters, a debate over how these galaxies are powered. Why are they so luminous in the infrared? Is it due to a recent burst of star formation, or a fiercely powerful "monster" black hole lurking at their core -- or a mix of the two? The answer is still unclear.

This new image of MCG-03-04-014 shows bright sparks of star formation dotted throughout the galaxy, with murky dust lanes obscuring a bright central bulge. The galaxy seems to show evidence of disruption; at the top of the galaxy you can see bright wisps streaking into space, but the bottom is smooth and rounded. This asymmetrical appearance implies that another object is tugging at the galaxy and distorting its symmetry.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA. "The Hubble showdown: Starbursts versus monsters." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140223112545.htm>.
NASA. (2014, February 23). The Hubble showdown: Starbursts versus monsters. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140223112545.htm
NASA. "The Hubble showdown: Starbursts versus monsters." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140223112545.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

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