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Hubble Interacting Galaxy UGC 12812
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Name: UGC 12812, NGC 7771, Mrk 9006, KPG 592B
Description: Interacting Galaxies
Position (J2000): RA 23h 51m 24.16s Dec 20° 34' 55.89"
Constellation: Pegasus
Distance: 200 million light-years (50 million parsecs)
Exposure Dates: May 29, 2002
Exposure Time: 33 minutes
Filters: F435W (B) and F814W (I)
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration & A. Evans (U of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University)
Publication Date: April 24, 2008
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UGC 12812, also known as Markarian 331, is a spiral galaxy with no obvious tidal tails. It is located in the lower part of the Hubble image. Two neighboring blue galaxies are seen at the top of the frame. The galaxy at the very top is embellished by a remarkable number of blue star knots. Observations point to the presence of a giant black hole anchored at the center of the bright core of UGC 12812. The galaxy produces 80 solar masses of new stars on average every year. It is an open question whether Markarian 331 is actually a merging system or whether its infrared brightness stems from another process. UGC 12812 is located in the constellation of Pegasus, the Winged Horse, about 250 million light-years away from Earth.

This image is part of a large collection of 59 images of merging galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and released on the occasion of its 18th anniversary on April 24, 2008.