Astronomical

Core of Galaxy NGC 4472

This image of the core of elliptical galaxy NGC 4472 comes from Hubble Space Telescope. This core shows a 'light deficit' — it is missing light from stars that have been gravitationally slung out of the core during a past merger of galaxies and their supermassive black holes into the current supergalaxy. Credit: NASA/AURA/STScI

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Astronomical

Light Deficit in Elliptical Galaxy Cores

Two giant elliptical galaxies, NGC 4621 and NGC 4472, look similar from a distance, as seen on the right in images from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. But zooming into these galaxies' cores with Hubble Space Telescope reveals their differences (left, black and white images). NGC 4621 shows a bright core, while NGC 4472 is much dimmer. The core of this galaxy is populated with fewer stars. Many stars have been slung out of the core when the galaxy collided and merged with another.

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Astronomical

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