Hubble image of galactic trio illustrates how complex and diverse galaxies are

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has captured this image that features multiple galaxies. The lone galaxy on the upper right is LEDA 58109. In the image, it is accompanied by two other galactic objects in the lower left. One is an active galactic nucleus called SDSS J162558.14+435746.4, which is partially obscuring the galaxy SDSS J162557.25+435743.5 which is partially visible on the right behind the active galactic nucleus.

Galaxies are often classified into two categories: spiral and elliptical. But just the diversity in this Hubble image displays how there is a much more complex web of galaxy classifications. This includes galaxies that have extremely luminous active galactic nuclei within them.

The galaxies in the image also illustrate the wide variety of names that these systems of stars have. For example, some are relatively short like LEDA 58109 while others have longer names that might be a bit challenging to remember like other galaxies in the image. This happens due to the different cataloging systems that chart and identify the different galaxies in our sky.

But no one catalog can be considered extensive and they sometimes cover overlapping regions in the sky. This means that the same galaxy can belong to different catalogs and can therefore have different names. An example of this is LEDA 58109, which is its name in the LEDA galaxy database, but it is also known as MCG+07-34-030 in the MCG galaxy catalog and SDSS J162551.50+435747.5 in the SDSS catalog. The SDSS catalog also lists the two galaxies to its right.

LEDA, which stands for the Lyon-Meudon Extragalactic Database (LEDA) was a galaxy database which was first created in 1983 at the Lyon observatory. MCG stands for the Morphological Catalog of Galaxies (or Morfologiceskij Katalog Galaktik in Russian). The Russian was published in five parts between 1962 and 1974. SDSS stands for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and is a catalog created using multi-spectral imaging and spectroscopic redshift data from a dedicated 2.5-meter wide-angle optical telescope.

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