Hubble Catches Glimpse of Beautiful Loner Galaxy NGC 6503

posted: 06/12/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Galaxy NGC 6503
NASA, ESA, D. Calzetti (University of Massachusetts, USA) and H. Ford (Johns Hopkins University, USA)

What's life like with no next-door neighbors? Ask NGC 6503, this beautiful spiral galaxy that recently found itself in front of Hubble's lens. The richly colored galaxy lies at the edge of the Local Void, a large, unusually empty expanse of space that, by some estimates, could span up to 230 million light-years.

NGC 6503 is a third the size of our Milky Way Glaaxy, and lies in the the constellation Draco, only 18 million light-years away from Earth. According to Hubble astronomers, a black hole could play an interesting role in the galaxy's structure:

The galaxy's central region is a good example of something known as a "low ionisation nuclear emission region", or LINER. These are less luminous than some of the brightest galaxies. Emission from NGC 6503's heart is believed to be the result of a starved black hole that is only just being kept active, receiving a very small amount of infalling gas to keep its large appetite at bay.

Click here for more information about NGC 6503

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