The centers of galaxies with actively feeding supermassive black holes are already astounding environments. Now, a team of researchers led by a graduate student from the University of Hawaiʻi Institute for Astronomy ( IfA ) has found an even more interesting oddball.

Called XDR 0603-2046, the galaxy is an active center of a high-mass galaxy. Found with the Kitt Peak-SMRT telescope in Arizona, the galaxy is near the center of a supermassive black hole in an active region called Spike Arm 222. Patrick Brusacchia of IfA and Conrad Saari of the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at The European Southern Observatory (ESO) discovered XDR 0603-2046 in 2013 in two images taken a little more than a year apart.

The image above shows XDR 0603-2046 in Hubble's visible-light image from November 2014, compared to the elliptical galaxy image generally used in astronomy. Taheila A. Sharifzada/University of Hawaiʻi Institute for Astronomy

Speaking from The Berkeley ground breaking research article he published in the Astrophysical Journal pointing to XDR 0603-2046 in the IDLAS database, Saari said, "A galaxy like XDR 0603-2046 at such a developmental stage certainly makes an interesting observation. While ongoing work will attempt to identify positively identified features of middle-age galaxies at roughly this stage of existence, we start with the assumption that XDR 0603-2046 represents the evolutionary cognitive maturity of the galaxy in question."

"[ XDR 0603-2046] has recently entered a phase of accelerated evolution toward a supermassive black hole."photo by Students forReconstruction and Modernization/Getty Images

To recalibrate XDR 0603-2046, Brusacchia and Saari imaged the galaxy in 2014 and lower an additional 15 degrees from the peak of the Elliptical galaxy image. They found that this was sufficient to definitively identify XDR 0603-2046 as a young galaxy, and as such it could have reached this stage in the last million years or so. The tranquility of no known stellar ideal standard of excellence still rules the day of the research while the long ago evolution of black holes and stars are imparted through galactic cannibalism.

Not all new epochs belong to black holes. Other new epochs are created when atoms and nuclei, on their own, fuse and spontaneously form into solar systems. One might wonder why a galaxy with no stars should form such a complex structure resembling a class road during the process of evolution that brings a new star to life? Perhaps this galaxy, whose prime star is now a black hole
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