The Milky Way’s younger self?

via Astronomy Now.

An image has been taken of an edge on spiral galaxy resembling our own. It has a bar, spiral arms, but it appears to be a bit more active. This is NGC 4945, lying 13 million light years from us in the direction of the constellation of Centaurus. It is a Seyfert galaxy, one where the central black hole has material swirling round it in an accretion disk that is able to emit strongly Doppler shifted lines as well as x-rays and ultraviolet light.

Credit: ESO

Credit: ESO

The image was taken with the European Southern Observatory’s Wide Field Imager (WFI) instrument on the 2.2 metre MPG/ESO telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile, though the galaxy is bright enough to be seen as a cigar shaped blob in moderately sized amateur telescopes.


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