An international team of astrophysicists using the Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT) in central Mexico has detected an unexpected and powerful outflow of molecular gas in a distant active galaxy similar to the Milky Way. The galaxy is 800 million light years from Earth. The findings are published in the current edition of Astrophysical Journal Letters, link to article. The research team includes Min S. Yun, a professor of astronomy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and colleagues from Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica (INAOE), the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and institutions in Italy, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain.
A new composite of NGC 4258 features X-rays from Chandra (blue), radio waves from the VLA (purple), optical data from Hubble (yellow and blue), and infrared with Spitzer (red). NGC 4258 is well known to astronomers for having "anomalous" arms that are not aligned with the plane of the galaxy, but rather intersect with it. Researchers are trying to understand how the giant black hole in the center of NGC 4258 is affecting the rest of the galaxy. NGC 4258, also known as Messier 106, is located about 23 million light years from Earth. Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/Caltech/P.Ogle et al; Optical: NASA/STScI & R.Gendler; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLA
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. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt