NASA shares beautiful photo of ‘elegant’ galaxy

National/World

Meet NGC 5728, a spiral galaxy around 130 million light-years from Earth. (Photo: ESA/Hubble, A. Riess et al., J. Greene)

(NEXSTAR) – NASA shared a stunning new photo of a galaxy far, far away. (It’s 130 million light years away, to be more precise.)

The galaxy is being called NGC 5728 – a clunky name for something the European Space Agency described as an “elegant, luminous, barred spiral galaxy.”

The galaxy was seen by one of the Hubble Space Telescope’s cameras that is “extremely sensitive” to both visible and infrared light, the ESA said. (The telescope is a joint effort between America’s NASA and the European Space Agency.)

“Therefore, it beautifully captures the regions of NGC 5728 that are emitting light at those wavelengths. However, there are many other types of light that galaxies such as NGC 5728 emit, which WFC3 can’t see.”

What we can’t see on camera is just how energetic this galaxy really is.

Here’s where things get a bit complicated for non-space nerds. Scientists believe NGC 5728 is something called a “Seyfert galaxy,” powered by an active core that makes it “monumentally energetic.” Other energetic galaxy cores emit so much radioactive energy, it makes it practically impossible to observe the galaxy surrounding them. That’s what makes this galaxy stand out – it’s emitting light that’s visible and recordable, as seen in the photo.

The ESA admitted the galaxy’s core might be emitting even more light, but the Hubble camera isn’t sensitive to it, which makes this galaxy “more than meets the eye.”

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