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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 21:20 EDT

The Green Bean Galaxy J2240

December 5, 2012

This zoom video starts with a wide view from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope that shows thousands of galaxies in the distant Universe. But the one close to the centre at the end of the sequence 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