Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2020 October 5
Explanation: What's happening at the centre of spiral galaxy NGC 5643? A swirling disk of stars and gas, NGC 5643's appearance is dominated by blue spiral arms and brown dust, as shown in the featured image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The core of this active galaxy glows brightly in radio waves and X-rays where twin jets have been found. An unusual central glow makes NGC 5643 one of the closest examples of the Seyfert class of galaxies, where vast amounts of glowing gas are thought to be falling into a central massive black hole. NGC 5643, is a relatively close 55 million light years away, spans about 100 thousand light years across, and can be seen with a small telescope towards the constellation of the Wolf (Lupus).
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.