High-energy galaxies imaged by Ryan Hannahoe

Posted by David Eicher
on Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Credit: Ryan Hannahoe and Salvatore Grasso
With fireworks coming in a few days here in the United States, it’s an appropriate time to recognize some fireworks in galaxies in deep space, too. Astroimager Ryan Hannahoe recently sent images of two well-known active galaxies, M77 in Cetus and M82 in Ursa Major.

M77 is the brightest Seyfert galaxy in the sky, the preeminent example of a class of galaxies marked by bright nuclei and a pattern of emission lines indicating an active supermassive black hole in residence. M77 lies roughly 47 million light-years away and is a favorite fall target for deep-sky observers.

Even more well-known is M82, one of the brightest galaxies in Ursa Major and often described as an “exploding” galaxy due to bright emanations coming from the galaxy’s nucleus. M82 lies a mere 11.5 million light-years away and is a so-called starburst galaxy, showing chains of dramatic star-forming regions and massive star clusters near the galaxy’s core. It, too, harbors a supermassive black hole that is active, as evidenced by X-ray and other emission.

Credit: Ryan Hannahoe and Salvatore Grasso
Ryan used the remote telescopes at New Mexico Skies Observatory in Mayhill, New Mexico, to create these images. You can see the full data here  and here.

These great portraits put the fireworks into our holiday break at the extragalactic scale. Nice job, Ryan!

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