December 15, 2012
Day 15 of the 2012 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar, one of 25 photos (eventually). The giant elliptical galaxy in the center of this image is the most massive and brightest member of the galaxy cluster Abell 2261. Spanning a little more than one million light-years, the galaxy is about 10 times the diameter of our Milky Way galaxy. The bloated galaxy is a member of an unusual class of galaxies with a diffuse core filled with a fog of starlight. Normally, astronomers would expect to see a concentrated peak of light around a central black hole. The Hubble observations revealed that the galaxy’s puffy core, measuring about 10,000 light-years, is the largest yet seen. The observations present a mystery, and studies of this galaxy may provide insight into how black hole behavior may shape the cores of galaxies. The immense gravity of the galaxy warps the light passing by, smearing out the images of background galaxies, as seen by Hubble. (NASA, ESA, M. Postman (STScI), T. Lauer (NOAO), and the CLASH team)

Day 15 of the 2012 Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar, one of 25 photos (eventually). The giant elliptical galaxy in the center of this image is the most massive and brightest member of the galaxy cluster Abell 2261. Spanning a little more than one million light-years, the galaxy is about 10 times the diameter of our Milky Way galaxy. The bloated galaxy is a member of an unusual class of galaxies with a diffuse core filled with a fog of starlight. Normally, astronomers would expect to see a concentrated peak of light around a central black hole. The Hubble observations revealed that the galaxy’s puffy core, measuring about 10,000 light-years, is the largest yet seen. The observations present a mystery, and studies of this galaxy may provide insight into how black hole behavior may shape the cores of galaxies. The immense gravity of the galaxy warps the light passing by, smearing out the images of background galaxies, as seen by Hubble. (NASA, ESA, M. Postman (STScI), T. Lauer (NOAO), and the CLASH team)

10:31am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Z0ayzvZO4Egd
  
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