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Hubble reveals a hidden secret obscured by dust in a dusty galaxy more than 100 million light-years away from us

The NASA and European Space Agency Hubble Space Telescope has captured an intriguing image of spiral galaxy NGC 7172. The galaxy NGC 7172 is located about 110.5 million light-years away in the southern constellation of Pisces (Piscis Austrinus). Dark dust passes through the core of spiral galaxy NGC 7172. The path of dust traversing its way through NGC 7172 blocks the galaxy’s luminous core, making NGC 7172 look like an ordinary spiral galaxy from the side.

When astronomers examined NGC 7172 across the electromagnetic spectrum, they quickly discovered that there was more to it than meets the eye: NGC 7172 is a Seyfert 2 galaxy, a type of galaxy with a very bright active galactic nucleus supported by matter accreting on its Supermassive black hole. This new image of NGC 7172 consists of data from two sets of Hubble observations, both of which were proposed to study nearby active galactic nuclei. The image also collects data from two instruments, Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide Field Camera 3, in the infrared and optical parts of the spectrum.

Three filters were used to sample different wavelengths. The color results from assigning different shades to each monochrome image associated with an individual filter. NGC 7172 was discovered on September 23, 1834 by English astronomer John Herschel. Also known as ESO 466-38, IRAS 21591-3206 or LEDA 67874, it has a diameter of 85 thousand NGC 7172 is a member of the Hickson Group of Galaxies, a group of galaxies comprising 100 galaxy clusters, including two elliptical galaxies, NGC 7173 and NGC 7176, and spiral galaxy NGC 7174.

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