Thanks to a newly released Hubble image, you can now explore a (real) galaxy far, far away.
The Hubble Space Telescope has produced the most detailed image ever of the visually striking NGC 4696 galaxy, which is part of the Centaurus galaxy cluster.
Located 150 million light years away from our little blue planet, NGC 4696 is known as an “elliptical galaxy”, featuring thread-like filaments that expand from the galaxy’s core.
At the galaxy’s center is a supermassive black hole, which is responsible for its brilliant appearance. The European Space Agency claims the energy from this black hole fills the inside of the galaxy, which causes heated gas to flood out along with the filaments that expand from the center.
These twirling, captivating strands expand out until they are pulled back in and eventually swallowed up by the black hole. Until that happens, we earthlings are treated to quite the show.
h/t Travel and Leisure.