The strange secrets of the Black Eye Galaxy

The Black Eye Galaxy in of Coma Berenices is notable for its dark dust lanes and the unusual flow of cosmic gas in the outer regions.

Black Eye Galaxy. Image credit ESA/Hubble & NASA, J. Lee and the PHANGS-HST Team. Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt

The Black Eye Galaxy is located in the constellation of Coma Berenices and is 17 million lightyears away from Earth.

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This new Hubble Space Telescope image reveals why the galaxy is know as the ‘Black Eye’ or the ‘Evil Eye’, because of the dark dust lanes that dominate one side.

NGC 4826 – as the galaxy is formally known – is also notable for the strange way in which the gas moves around within it, whereby gas in the outer regions moves in the opposite direction to the inner regions.

Where these rotating bands collide, new stars are forming within the dust lanes.

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  • Observatory Hubble Space Telescope
  • Release date 22 February 2021
  • Image credit ESA/Hubble & NASA, J. Lee and the PHANGS-HST Team. Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt