HomeAstronomy & SpaceAstronomyHubble images a complex galactic trio

Hubble images a complex galactic trio

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This luminescent image contains several galaxies, the most noticeable of which is LEDA 58109, the lone galaxy in the upper right. LEDA 58109 is flanked to the lower left by two more galactic objects: SDSS J162558.14+435746.4, a galaxy with an active galactic nucleus (AGN) that partially obscures the galaxy SDSS J162557.25+435743.5, which appears to poke out to the right behind the AGN.

The classification of galaxies is sometimes presented as a dichotomy: spiral and elliptical. The diversity of galaxies in this image, on the other hand, highlights the complex web of galaxy classifications that exist, including galaxies with extremely luminous AGNs at their cores and galaxies whose shapes defy classification as spiral or elliptical.

The galaxies in this sample also demonstrate the wide range of names that galaxies have: some relatively short, like LEDA 58109, and some very long and difficult to remember, like the two galaxies to the left. This is because there are numerous cataloging systems for celestial objects in the night sky. No single catalogue is exhaustive, and they cover overlapping areas of the sky, so many galaxies belong to multiple catalogs.The galaxy on the right, for example, is LEDA 58109 in the LEDA galaxy database, but it is also known as MCG+07-34-030 in the MCG galaxy catalogue and SDSS J162551.50+435747.5 in the SDSS galaxy catalog—the same catalogue that includes the two galaxies on the left.

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