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Hubble Investigates Hungry Galaxy

Ngc 1589
Ngc 1589
ESA/Hubble & NASA

The subject of this image taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, a spiral galaxy named NGC 1589, was once the scene of a violent bout of cosmic hunger pangs. As astronomers looked on, a poor, hapless star was seemingly torn apart and devoured by the ravenous supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy.

The astronomers are now using Hubble to test this interpretation. The telescope has observed such events before, so the scientists are confident that Hubble will be able to provide smoking-gun evidence in the form of stellar debris that was ejected during the disruption event.

Text credit: ESA (European Space Agency)