Science and Exploration

Hubble Captures a Peculiar Pair

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
June 29, 2022
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Hubble Captures a Peculiar Pair
IC 4271

This new NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of IC 4271, also known as Arp 40, is a curious pair of spiral galaxies some 800 million light-years away.
The smaller galaxy is superimposed on the larger one, which is a type of active galaxy called a Seyfert galaxy. Seyfert galaxies are named for astronomer Carl K. Seyfert who, in 1943, published a paper about spiral galaxies with very bright emission lines. Today we know that about 10% of all galaxies may be Seyfert galaxies. They belong to the class of “active galaxies” – galaxies that have supermassive black holes at their centers accreting material, which releases vast amounts of radiation. The active cores of Seyfert galaxies are at their brightest when observed in light outside the visible spectrum.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and B. Holwerda (University of Louisville Research Foundation, Inc.); Image processing: G. Kober (NASA Goddard/Catholic University of America) larger image

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