Example of a jellyfish galaxy

Observations of “Jellyfish galaxies” with ESO’s Very Large Telescope have revealed a previously unknown way to fuel supermassive black holes. It seems the mechanism that produces the tentacles of gas and newborn stars that give these galaxies their nickname also makes it possible for the gas to reach the central regions of the galaxies, feeding the black hole that lurks in each of them and causing it to shine brilliantly.

This picture of one of the galaxies, nicknamed JW206, from the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile, shows clearly how material is streaming out of the galaxy in long tendrils. Red shows the glow from ionised hydrogen gas and the whiter regions are where most of the stars in the galaxy are located.

Credit:

ESO/GASP collaboration

About the Image

Id:eso1725d
Type:Observation
Release date:16 August 2017, 19:00
Related releases:eso1725
Size:1204 x 610 px

About the Object

Name:JW206
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy
Constellation:Aquarius
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

Large JPEG
181.4 KB
Screensize JPEG
102.1 KB

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Coordinates

Position (RA):21 13 45.48
Position (Dec):2° 28' 34.50"
Field of view:2.01 x 1.02 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 0.1° right of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
OIII
500 nmVery Large Telescope
MUSE
Optical
Continuum
634 nmVery Large Telescope
MUSE
Optical
H-alpha
656 nmVery Large Telescope
MUSE

 

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