A Trifecta Galaxy

This is a galaxy catalogued as Z 229-15. Sometimes, it’s called an active galactic nucleus (AGN); sometimes, a quasar; and sometimes, a Seyfert galaxy. In fact, it’s all three.

An AGN is a small region at the heart of some galaxies that is far brighter than just the galaxy’s stars would be because of the presence of a supermassive black hole at the galaxy’s core. Quasars are a particular type of AGN. Many AGNs are so bright the rest of their galaxies cannot be seen, but Seyfert galaxies are active galaxies that host very bright AGNs (quasars) in which the rest of the galaxy is still observable. So Z 229-15 is a Seyfert galaxy that contains a quasar, and that, by definition, hosts an AGN.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA

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