Messier 106 galaxy

Photo: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), and R. Gendler (for the Hubble Heritage Team). Acknowledgment: J. GaBany

Hungry, hungry black hole

The four arms of the Messier 106 galaxy are seen in this stunning new photo taken by the Hubble Telescope. Located 20 million light-years from Earth in the Ursa Major (Great Bear) constellation, the center of Messier 106 serves as host to a monster black hole.

Although most spiral galaxies just have two arms, Messier 106 boasts four cosmic appendages. In addition to the prominent limbs comprised of millions of stars (similar to the ones on our own Milky Way), there are also two wisps of gas (seen in red) that are believed to be caused by the galaxy's ravenous black hole.

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Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.

Spiral galaxy stretches its cosmic arms [Photo]
The Hubble Telescope captures stunning new photo of Messier 106, a spiral galaxy located 20 million light-years from Earth in the Ursa Major constellation.