A new Hubble photo reveals a cosmic "monstrosity"

A new Hubble photo reveals a cosmic monstrosity

The spiral galaxy M91 fills the frame of this Wide Field Camera 3 observation from the NASA / ESA Hubble Space Telescope. M91 is located approximately 55 million light years from Earth in the Coma Berenices constellation and, as is evident in this image, is a barred spiral galaxy. While M91's prominent bar creates a spectacular galactic image, it also hides an astronomical monstrosity. Like our galaxy, M91 contains a supermassive black hole at its center. A 2009 study using archival Hubble data found that this central black hole weighs between 9.6 and 38 million times the sun.



credits: NASA / ESA Hubble While archival Hubble data allowed astronomers to calculate the weight of M91's central black hole, more recent observations served other scientific purposes. This observation is part of an effort to build a treasure trove of astronomical data that explores the connections between young stars and the cold gas clouds in which they form. To do this, the astronomers used Hubble to obtain ultraviolet and visible observations of galaxies already seen at radio wavelengths from the Atacama Large Millimeter / submillimeter Array (ALMA).| ); }