Saturday, February 24

Hubble Found A Seyfert Galaxy Which Has ‘ Forbidden Light ‘

It seems like everyday the Hubble Space Telescope is making new discoveries. Recently, the space telescope took a look at a Seyfert galaxy, known as MCG-01-24-014. What it found was a type of forbidden light, which shouldn’t be there.

Located about 275 million miles away from Earth, the galaxy has two spiral arms and n energetic core known as a active galactic nucleus (AGN). It’s categorized as a Seyfert Galaxy, which host the most common sub classes of AGNs. According to NASA, Seyfert Galaxies have two different subcategories.

Both are distinguished by their spectra, which is the pattern that results when light is split into constituent wavelengths. Type 2 Seyfert Galaxies emit spectral lines, which are associated with the forbidden emission lines Hubble detected. Spectra look like these lines because certain atoms and molecules absorb and emit light at certain wavelengths. They can also only exist at very specific energies, and therefore electrons can only lose or gain very specific amounts of energy.

Technically, these emission lines shouldn’t exist according to quantum physics. However, we can only know so much about it, and the experiments we do are mostly on Earth. because of this, we call it forbidden. However, in space, the forbidden light gets a chance to be seen.

Image Source: ESA/Hubble & NASA, C. Kilpatrick