NASA Hubble Space Telescope Captures Tiny Galaxy With Supermassive Black Hole


NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured a tiny galaxy called ESO 495-21 using its Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. The galaxy is around 30 million light-years away in the constellation of Pyxis.

NASA Hubble Telescope Snaps Tiny Galaxy With Supermassive Black Hole


The galaxy is 3000 light-years across, which is nowhere close to the sheer size of our Milky Way, which is 100,000 light-years across. But it might hold secrets to the evolution of galaxies over time, and what causes the expansion of a galaxy.

Despite its small size, ESO 495-21 is expected to host a supermassive black hole, which is usually found in much bigger galaxies. These black holes are at the center of galaxies and suck gas and dust close to them. Usually, the bigger the galaxy, the bigger its supermassive black hole. But this small galaxy seems to have a black hole which is over a million times bigger than our Sun.

The black hole in the middle of the galaxy will help astronomers understand the evolution of galaxies. The scientists aren't sure how these supermassive black holes develop - it could be that these black holes appear first and then galaxies form around them.

As ESO 495-21 is small and has a high rate of star formation, it is said to be similar to the early stages of the universe. It seems that supermassive black holes develop first, and the galaxies around them form later.

Previously, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope chronicled an irregular galaxy called IC 10, a member of the Local Group. A Local Group comprises of over 50 galaxies in our cosmic neighborhood that includes the Milky Way.

What makes the IC 10 different is that it is closest to the starbust galaxy which means that it is witnessing huge star formation which is powered by ample supplies of cool hydrogen gas. This gas turns into cast molecular clouds after condensation, which then forms into dense knots where pressures trigger nuclear fusion, thus forming new stars.

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