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Galaxy NGC 4395
Bulgeless Galaxy Hides Black Hole

The galaxy NGC 4395 is shown here in infrared light, captured by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. This dwarf galaxy is relatively small in comparison with our Milky Way galaxy, which is nearly 1,000 times more massive.

The galaxy is “bulgeless” because it lacks a large collection of stars at its center. Astronomers using NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, have found more evidence that bulgeless galaxies, contrary to previous theories, do harbor supermassive black holes at their center. In this image, an actively feeding supermassive black hole resides in the galaxy's nucleus, as seen by the bright red source. The feeding supermassive black hole dominates the infrared light coming from the galaxy's center.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Page Last Updated: March 26th, 2014
Page Editor: Tony Greicius