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Peering into the shrouded heart of a luminous Seyfert galaxy

29 May 2018 Astronomy Now

Seyfert galaxies are unusually luminous, powered by supermassive black holes feeding on galactic dust and debris. It is difficult to peer into the dust-shrouded cores of such galaxies, but the European Southern Observatory, combining radio and optical observations, provides an intriguing glimpse.

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A final postcard from a venerable instrument

25 May 2018 Astronomy Now

Before it was decommissioned, the European Southern Observatory’s Visible Multi-Object Spectrograph captured this stunning view of two gravitationally interacting galaxies 110 million light years away. Over its 16-year career, VIMOS captured tens of thousands of galactic spectra, shedding light on how massive galaxies form and evolve.