The centre of the galaxy NGC 5643 has been chosen as an ESO Picture of the Week

Centre of NGC 5643 observed by ALMA and VLT. Credit: ESO/A. Alonso-Herrero et al.; ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)

This ESO Picture of the Week shows the centre of a galaxy named NGC 5643. This galaxy is located 55 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Lupus (The Wolf), and is known as a Seyfert galaxy. Seyfert galaxies have very luminous centres — thought to be powered by material being accreted onto a supermassive black hole lurking within — that can also be shrouded and obscured by clouds of dust and intergalactic material. Continue reading

First detection of the 448 GHz H2O transition in space

Left: Map of the 448 GHz (rest frequency) continuum (top panel) and zeroth moment of the H2O 423 − 330 emission (bottom panel) of ESO 320-G030. Right: Continuum subtracted profile of the H2O 423 − 330 448 GHz emission. See Pereira-Santaella et al. 2017 for further details.

Water is a key molecule to probe dense and warm regions in the interstellar medium, because of its chemistry as well as its coupling to the far-infrared. This work presents the first detection of the ortho-H2O 4_23 – 3_30 transition at 448 GHz in space. Continue reading

Dusty doughnut around massive black hole spied for first time

The dust continuum emission at 694 GHz mapped by ALMA in the CND of NGC1068. See García-Burillo et al. 2016 for further details.

The dust continuum emission at 694 GHz mapped by ALMA in the circumnuclear disk of NGC1068. See García-Burillo et al. 2016 for further details.

An international team of astronomers lead by the spanish astronomer Santiago García-Burillo (OAN, Madrid), and with the participation of CAB scientists (Almudena Alonso Herrero and Luis Colina), have been able to resolve for the first time the dusty torus around the massive black hole in the nucleus of the nearby active galaxy NGC 1068.

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