- Hubble captures image of spiral galaxy which exhibits rare behaviours
- Astronomers observed intense radio jets spewed from the galaxy’s centre
- The galaxy also has two more regions producing strong radio emissions
- Nasa says such activities have long been associated with elliptical galaxies
The Hubble Space Telescope has spotted unusual behaviour in a constellation one billion light-years away.
A galaxy with a spiral shape similar to the Milky Way has been observed spewing intense radio jets, going against earlier understanding that links this activity to elliptical and merging galaxies.
The ‘misbehaving’ galaxy also exhibits two additional regions that produce strong radio emissions, an extremely rare sight according to Nasa.
Nasa writes that this galaxy is called ‘LO95 0313- 192,’ and resides within the constellation Eridanus.
The image captured by the Nasa/ESA Hubble Telescope, which shows neighbouring galaxies is now being called ‘remarkable,’ for its edge-on glimpse of the rare activities of a spiral galaxy.
LO95 0313- 192 has a large central bulge and ‘arms’ that are dotted with glowing gas, blocked partially by dark dust.
A composite from the Hubble Space Telescope indicates the intense radio jets with red overlay
Next to the spiral galaxy is another, named ‘[LOY2001] J031549.8-190623.’
According to Nasa, the behaviour exhibited by this galaxy is commonly seen in the cores of giant elliptical galaxies, not spirals.
Jets are extremely hot and fast, traveling almost at the speed of light.
The jets were discovered in 2003, and astronomers have since come across three more spiral galaxies containing radio-emitting jets.
Though they aren’t seen in the new photo, the jets have been pointed out in a previous composite from the Hubble Space Telescope.
Observations in recent years have led researchers to question the origins of these jets, which may work differently than current understanding suggests.
Earlier this week, an international team of astronomers revealed the highest resolution astronomical image ever created, showing a deep look into the centre of an active galaxy, BL Lacerta.
Combining 15 radio telescopes on Earth, and the 10-metre orbiting radio telescope Spektr-R allowed them to study a supermassive black hole.
In BL Lac, a supermassive black hole swallows surrounding matter, creating an accretion disk of material around it, while simultaneously spitting out jets of high-energy particles and magnetic fields.
The observations support current models, which suggest that magnetic fieled lines of BL Lac are ‘twisted,’ creating a coiled field that compresses the beam of the jet and accelerates its motion.
But, unusually high light intensity revealed by the image has researchers questioning their current understanding of how jets produce microwave radiation.
‘Our current understanding of how the emission is generated in AGN establishes a clear limit on the intensity of microwaves that their cores can produce over long time spans,’ said José L. Gómez.
‘The extreme intensity observed in BL Lac exceeds that limit, requiring either velocities in the jet even closer to the speed of light than thought before or a revision of our theoretical models.’