Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Galaxy Mergers

Composite image of: Chandra X-ray Image of 3C442A and VLA Radio Image of 3C442A

About 390 million light years away in the Constellation of Pegasus The Winged horse - Two galaxies near the middle of 3C442A in the process of merging.

These two galaxies are on their second pass toward a collision, having already experienced a close encounter. The energy generated from this impending merger is heating the combined atmospheres from these two galaxies, causing them to shine brightly in X-rays and expand.

Researchers have determined that the jets that had produced the lobes of radio-emitting gas are no longer active. The jets may have ceased at the time of, and possibly as a result of, the galaxy collision. Since the radio-emitting gas no longer has a power source, it is then at the mercy of the expanding hot gas and has been pushed aside.

More Images of 3C442A from Chandra X-Ray Observatory
Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Bristol/Worrall et al.; Radio: NRAO/AUI/NSF
Dust Clouds In Cosmic Cycle from Science Daily
Testing Relativity from Astroprof @ Astroprof's Page
X-ray satellites catch magnetar in gigantic stellar ‘hiccup’ from ESA

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