A Train-wreck in Pisces
This weeks OOTW features Lightbulb500’s OOTD posted on the 22nd of October 2010.
1 billion light years away a cosmic train-wreck of two merging galaxies is taking place, throwing stars out in streamers stretching out for thousands of light years in a flurry of gravitational disruption. Deep within this train-wreck at least one super massive black hole has awakened as a result of the infalling matter from the merger, making it a Seyfert 1 galaxy according to SIMBAD.
A seyfert 1 galaxy is a galaxy host to an AGN (Active Galactic Nucleus). The matter falling into the black hole forms an accretion disk which in turn creates massive jets of plasma as the disk emits huge amounts of radiation as a result of friction. This radiation gets concentrated into jets of plasma that beam out for thousands of light years!
The angle of the jets mostly determines what type an AGN is. There are several types such as the Blazars, the Seyfert 1’s, seyfert 2’s and so on. This galaxy is a seyfert one so the jet is beaming out at around 30 degrees so that it’s not quite facing us directly. A blazers jet would be facing directly at us, and the jets of a seyfert two would be at pointing 90 degrees away from us.
Eric F Diaz commented in the OOTD thread and asked if the galaxy is a polar ring or not, and Lightbulb500 set up a poll to see what everyone thought.
A polar ring galaxy is where a galaxy punches through the centre of another and as a result this creates a ring. This ring sorrounds and orbits the galaxy at its poles, creating wonderful images like this: