Sunday, February 01, 2009

Centaurus A

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al.; Submillimeter: MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A.Weiss et al.; Optical: ESO/WFI

This image of Centaurus A shows a spectacular new view of a supermassive black hole's power.

Jets and lobes powered by the central black hole in this nearby galaxy are shown by submillimeter data (coloured orange) from the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope in Chile and X-ray data (coloured blue) from the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Visible light data from the Wide Field Imager on the Max-Planck/ESO 2.2 m telescope, also located in Chile, shows the dust lane in the galaxy and background stars.

The X-ray jet in the upper left extends for about 13,000 light years away from the black hole. The APEX data shows that material in the jet is travelling at about half the speed of light.