The European Space Agency has released a new Hubble image showing swirls of dark dust passing through the heart of spiral galaxy NGC 7172.
The galaxy is located about 110 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of the Southern Fish (Piscis Austrinus). The dust lane crossing NGC 7172 is visible from the side, obscuring the glowing heart of the galaxy.
At first glance, NGC 7172 might appear to be just an ordinary spiral galaxy, but it has an active nucleus and belongs to the type II Seyfert galaxies.
When astronomers examined NGC 7172 across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, they found it to be larger than meets the eye. NGC 7172 is a Seyfert galaxy, a type of galaxy that has an actively glowing core. It feeds on matter accumulating in a supermassive black hole.
This image combines data from several Hubble observations taken to study nearby active galactic nuclei. The image also combines data from two instruments, the Hubble Advanced Camera (ACS) and the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFCS).
Previously, a photo of the object NGC 4571 was published, by clicking on the link you can see images of the galaxy in different years.