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Green Bean Galaxy
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Green Bean Galaxy

December 7, 2012
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A new galaxy class has been identified using observations from ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), the Gemini South telescope, and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT). Nicknamed “green bean galaxies” because of their unusual appearance, these galaxies glow in the intense light emitted from the surroundings of monster black holes and are amongst the rarest objects in the Universe.

This view from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope shows thousands of galaxies in the distant Universe. But the one close to the center looks very odd — it is bright green. This very unusual object is known as J224024.1−092748 or J2240 and it is a bright example of a new class of objects that have been nicknamed green bean galaxies. Green beans are entire galaxies that are glowing under the intense radiation from the region around a central black hole. J2240 lies in the constellation of Aquarius (The Water Bearer) and its light has taken about 3.7 billion years to reach Earth.

Credit: CFHT/ESO/M. Schirmer



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