The smaller galaxy is superimposed on the larger galaxy, which is a form of active galaxy called the Seyfert Galaxy.
The Seyfert Galaxies
Seyfert galaxies are named after Carl K. Seyfert, an astronomer who in 1943 presented a study describing spiral galaxies with unusually bright emission lines. We now know that Seyfert galaxies make up about 10% of all galaxies.
These are “active galaxies,” which are galaxies with supermassive black holes at their centres with accreting material and emits tremendous amounts of energy.
When seeing in light outside the visible spectrum, the active cores of Seyfert galaxies are at their brightest. The larger galaxy in this spiral pair is a Type II Seyfert galaxy, which Indicates that it is a very bright source of infrared and visible radiation.
How Was The Image Created?
The image was created using data from Hubble scans aimed at determining how dust shapes the energy distributions of low-mass disc galaxies. Hubble’s observations focused on six pairings of galaxies that were in front of each other.
How Did NASA’s Hubble Help?
The researchers were able to map the foreground galaxy’s dust disc in exquisite detail spanning ultra-violet, visible, and infrared light thanks to Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3’s wide range of light sensitivity and resolution.
The visible and infrared wavelengths of light dominate the picture of IC 4271 because it is a Type II Seyfert Galaxy. The hues in this image are mostly visible light, with ultraviolet and near-infrared light represented by violet and red, respectively.