Location of Photo:
EL SAUCE OBSERVATORY, CHILE (Remote Astronomy via Telescope Live)
Date/Time of photo:
Mar 2021 – Nov 2022
Planewave CDK24; FLI ProLine PL9000
NGC 1566, sometimes known as the Spanish Dancer, is an intermediate spiral galaxy in the southern constellation of Dorado. Its delicate arms swirl gracefully around its core like a cosmic ballet. In this celestial dance, untold numbers of stars, gas, and dust perform a cosmic waltz, orchestrated by the invisible hand of gravity. At the heart of NGC 1566 lies a supermassive black hole, weighing in at roughly 10 million solar masses. Much like the fabled sea monsters of Earth's oceans, this cosmic leviathan devours any celestial material that strays too close to its gravitational maw. Yet, paradoxically, this very same dark heart fuels the luminous brilliance of NGC 1566's core, a region known as an active galactic nucleus. The light from NGC 1566 has travelled across the vast expanses of space for 40 million years before gracing our eyes. As we gaze upon its celestial beauty, we are also peering back through time, witnessing an era when our planet was still in its prehistoric infancy. In this sense, we are both explorers of the universe and time travellers, embarking on a cosmic odyssey with each new celestial discovery.