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NASA Finds 'Death Star' Galaxy

Phenomenon blasts neighboring galaxy
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2007 4:02 AM CST
NASA Finds 'Death Star' Galaxy
This artist's impression of 3C321 shows the main galaxy and the companion galaxy. A jet of particles generated by a supermassive black hole at the center of the main galaxy is striking the companion galaxy. The jet is disrupted and deflected by this impact. Credit: Illustration: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss   (NASA/CXC/M. Weiss)

(Newser) – NASA astronomers have discovered a "death star galaxy" with a super massive black hole that is blasting a neighboring galaxy with deadly radiation. It's the first time scientists have witnessed such a phenomenon. The hungry black hole has been zapping a galaxy 20,000 light years away for about a million years, reports Space.com. 

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Although the massive jet of radiation is deadly, it may also be life-giving by helping new planets to form, scientists theorize. "Jets can be highly disruptive but create stellar nurseries," said an astrophysicist. "It's a fascinating sort of duality about how these high-energy phenomena influence the environments in which they're embedded." (Read more NASA stories.)

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