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More Images of NGC 4696
1
Click for large jpg X-ray
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Click for large jpg Optical
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Click for large jpg Radio
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X-ray, Optical & Radio Images of NGC 4696/Centaurus Cluster
Data from Chandra and other telescopes have provided evidence for repeated bursts of energetic particles generated by the supermassive black hole at the center of the Centaurus Cluster. These images show X-ray data from Chandra that reveals the hot gas in the cluster, and radio data from the VLA that shows high-energy particles produced by jets powered by the black hole. Visible light data from Hubble show galaxies in the cluster as well as galaxies and stars outside the cluster.
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/MPE/J.Sanders et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI; Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLA)
2
Click for large jpg Labeled
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Click for large jpg Unlabeled
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Chandra X-ray Image of NGC 4696, Processed for Cavities
Astronomers employed special processing to the Chandra X-ray data of NGC 4696 to emphasize nine cavities visible in the hot gas. These cavities are labeled A through I in an additional image, and the location of the black hole is labeled with a cross. The cavities that formed most recently are located nearest to the black hole, in particular the ones labeled A and B.
(Credit: NASA/CXC/MPE/J.Sanders et al.)

Cavity processing scale: This image shows a larger field of view than the main composite image above and is about 122,000 light years across. This image has also been rotated slightly clockwise to the main composite image above.
3
Click for large jpg Curved Features
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Chandra X-ray Image of NGC 4696, Processed for Curved Features
A different type of processing of the Chandra X-ray data of NGC 4696 reveals a sequence of curved and approximately equally spaced features in the hot gas. These may be caused by sound waves generated by the black hole's repeated bursts. In a galaxy cluster, the hot gas that fills the cluster enables sound waves — albeit at frequencies far too low for the human hear to detect — to propagate.
(Credit: NASA/CXC/MPE/J.Sanders et al.)

Curved processing scale: This image also shows a larger field of view than the main composite image and is about 550,000 light years across. This image has also been rotated slightly clockwise to the main composite image.
4
Click for large jpg Chandra X-ray, 3-Color
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Chandra X-ray, 3-Color
By examining the details of the X-ray data from Chandra, scientists found evidence for repeated bursts of energetic particles in jets generated by the supermassive black hole at the center of NGC 4696. These bursts create vast cavities in the hot gas that fills the space between the galaxies in the cluster. The bursts also create shock waves, akin to sonic booms produced by high-speed airplanes, which travel tens of thousands of light years across the cluster.
(Credit: NASA/CXC/MPE/J.Sanders et al.)



NGC 4696 (April 19, 2017)