Three Beautiful Galaxies in Draco

By on Mar 26, 2014 in Pictures | 0 comments

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Three Beautiful Galaxies in Draco


Three Galaxies in Draco

Image Credit & Copyright: Stephen Leshin


Here are three beautiful galaxies in the Draco constellation. These three galaxies are (from left to right) NGC 5981, NGC 5982, and NGC 5985, which lie 100 million light years from Earth. The sharp-edged shell details on NGC 5982 hint at a previous galaxy merger. To many deep sky observers this is also known as the “Draco Trio.” Seeing two barred spiral galaxies at different angles is a rare sight to see in one image. There are a few mysteries bubbling in some of these galaxies. For example, NGC 5982 has been said by researcher Simões Lopes, that the galaxy may house a supermassive black hole within its active galactic nucleus.

“This result demonstrates a strong correlation between the presence of circumnuclear dust and accretion onto the central, supermassive black hole in elliptical and lenticular galaxies. Current estimates suggest the dust settling or destruction time is on order of 108 yr, and therefore the presence of dust in ~50% of early-type galaxies requires frequent replenishment and similarly frequent fueling of their central supermassive black holes. The observed dust could be internally produced (via stellar winds) or externally accreted, although there are observational challenges for both of these scenarios. Our analysis also reveals that approximately one-third of the early-type galaxies without circumnuclear dust have nuclear stellar disks. These nuclear stellar disks may provide a preferred kinematic axis to externally accreted material, and this material may in turn form new stars in these disks. The observed incidence of nuclear stellar disks and circumnuclear dust suggests that episodic replenishment of nuclear stellar disks occurs and is approximately concurrent with the fueling of the central AGN.” – Simões Lopes


Not only that but there may even be a quasar near by from the way the galaxies are distributed across the sky. There are always mysteries in the universe and even when we have images there is still much to learn. If nothing else, it always astounds me that we can cram unfathomable galaxies in a picture. Universe Today did a wonderful write up on these galaxies and you should head on over there now and check it out! Until then, keep looking up!

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