The Hubble telescope recently made a magnificent discovery. It discovered a “glowing heart” with dark tentacles spread all around it in the far-away M61 galaxy. The images that came out of the discovery are spectacular, to say the least. The crystal-clear images reveal an abundance of blackish pink color overstrewn with luminous bright blue dust. The galaxy looks like it is surrounded by winding spiral arms and dark dust scrolls. The common bright start belts could also be deciphered; other than there, the spiral ‘arms’ of the M61 galaxy are also inlaid with ruby-like red spots. The scientists proclaim that the luminous regions are signs of recent star formation which qualifies the galaxy as a starburst galaxy.
The image captured by the Hubble telescope is sure to spellbound anyone, not just space enthusiasts. However, the picture of the M61 is more than just a spellbinding picture. Experts believe that the center of this picture hides one of the most interesting features of the galaxy. As mentioned above, the galaxy qualifies as a starburst galaxy, but the story does not end there. In addition to the extensive star-forming region, which could easily be discerned in the photo, experts have reasons to believe that the M61 also contains a supermassive black hole whose mass is 5 million times that of the sun.
The M61 galaxy is more than 52 million light-years away from earth, and it piqued the interest of the scientists precisely because it looks almost exactly like the earth. The image not only contains Hubble data, but it also holds data from the FORS camera of the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, which combined delivers the extremely detailed picture of the M61.
The eye-catching details of the image are the result of an interesting collaboration between the telescope teams and astronomers; needless to say, such ventures if also applied and sought help from, in the future would give rise to a tremendous amount of accurate data collected from both the ground and space telescopes, which, in turn, will further space explorations.