Hubble Space Telescope Images Bright Spiral Galaxy With ‘Forbidden’ Light

Seyfert galaxies, along with quasars, host one of the most common subclasses of AGN. While the precise categorisation of AGNs is nuanced, Seyfert galaxies tend to be relatively nearby and their central AGN does not outshine its host, while quasars are very distant AGNs with incredible luminosities that outshine their host galaxies.

Science IANS|
Hubble Space Telescope Images Bright Spiral Galaxy With ‘Forbidden’ Light
Representational Image (File Photo)

Washington, December 23: The Hubble Space Telescope image has captured a bright spiral galaxy with the "forbidden" light in a stunning image. Known as MCG-01-24-014, the galaxy is located about 275 million light-years from Earth. In addition to being a well-defined spiral galaxy, MCG-01-24-014 has an extremely energetic core known as an active galactic nucleus (AGN) and is categorised as a Type-2 Seyfert galaxy, said mission specialists from Hubble, managed by both NASA and European Space Agency.

Seyfert galaxies, along with quasars, host one of the most common subclasses of AGN. While the precise categorisation of AGNs is nuanced, Seyfert galaxies tend to be relatively nearby and their central AGN does not outshine its host, while quasars are very distant AGNs with incredible luminosities that outshine their host galaxies. Cosmic Reef Photos: NASA's Hubble Telescope Captures Beautiful Cosmic Reef Located 163,000 Light-Years Away From Earth in Constellation Dorado.

Hubble Space Telescope Images Bright Spiral Galaxy With ‘Forbidden’ Light

Seyfert galaxies, along with quasars, host one of the most common subclasses of AGN. While the precise categorisation of AGNs is nuanced, Seyfert galaxies tend to be relatively nearby and their central AGN does not outshine its host, while quasars are very distant AGNs with incredible luminosities that outshine their host galaxies.

Science IANS|
Hubble Space Telescope Images Bright Spiral Galaxy With ‘Forbidden’ Light
Representational Image (File Photo)

Washington, December 23: The Hubble Space Telescope image has captured a bright spiral galaxy with the "forbidden" light in a stunning image. Known as MCG-01-24-014, the galaxy is located about 275 million light-years from Earth. In addition to being a well-defined spiral galaxy, MCG-01-24-014 has an extremely energetic core known as an active galactic nucleus (AGN) and is categorised as a Type-2 Seyfert galaxy, said mission specialists from Hubble, managed by both NASA and European Space Agency.

Seyfert galaxies, along with quasars, host one of the most common subclasses of AGN. While the precise categorisation of AGNs is nuanced, Seyfert galaxies tend to be relatively nearby and their central AGN does not outshine its host, while quasars are very distant AGNs with incredible luminosities that outshine their host galaxies. Cosmic Reef Photos: NASA's Hubble Telescope Captures Beautiful Cosmic Reef Located 163,000 Light-Years Away From Earth in Constellation Dorado.

There are further subclasses of both Seyfert galaxies and quasars. In the case of Seyfert galaxies, the predominant subcategories are Type-1 and Type-2. Astronomers distinguish them by their spectra, the pattern that results when light is split into its constituent wavelengths.

The spectral lines that Type-2 Seyfert galaxies emit are associated with specific ‘forbidden’ emission lines. To understand why emitted light from a galaxy could be forbidden, it helps to understand why spectra exist in the first place. Spectra look the way they do because certain atoms and molecules absorb and emit light at very specific wavelengths. 'Merging Galaxies': NASA's Hubble Telescope Shares Captivating Image of Two Merging Galaxies Located 350 Million Light Years From Earth (See Pic).

The reason for this is quantum physics: electrons (the tiny particles that orbit the nuclei of atoms and molecules) can only exist at very specific energies, and therefore electrons can only lose or gain very specific amounts of energy. These very specific amounts of energy correspond to the wavelengths of light that are absorbed or emitted.

Forbidden emission lines should not exist according to certain rules of quantum physics. But quantum physics is complex, and some of the rules used to predict it were formulated under laboratory conditions here on Earth, the team explained.

Under those rules, this emission is ‘forbidden’ -- so improbable that it’s disregarded. But in space, in the midst of an incredibly energetic galactic core, those assumptions don’t hold anymore, and the ‘forbidden’ light gets a chance to shine out toward us.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 23, 2023 03:52 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

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