NASA‘s Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a megamaser in a galaxy named IRAS 16399-0937, located over 370 millions light-years from Earth. This megamaser galaxy snapped by Hubble is described by NASA as “more exciting and futuristic” than most.

Megamasers are galaxies that act like one big laser that emits microwave radiation instead of visible light. A megamaser is some 100 million times brighter than masers found in galaxies like the Milky Way.

Close analysis helped researchers in finding that the galaxy hosts a double nucleus which possessed separated cores and appeared to be undergoing the process of merging.


A unique thing about this galaxy, named IRAS 16399-0937, is that it contains two separate nuclei that are in the process of merging. One of the cores, IRAS 16399N, is also believed to contain a supermassive black hole approximately 100 million times the mass of the sun.

Scientists believe that the galaxy’s peculiar rosebud-like structure is the result of the two nuclei being buried deep within the same swirl of cosmic gas and dust.

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched aboard NASA‘s space shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990.

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