Images
X-ray Images
Chandra Mission
X-ray Astronomy
Chandra People
Podcasts
Chandra in HD
Standard Definition
The Invisible Sky
Two Inch Universe
By Date/Category
Other Features
Animations & Video
Special Features
Audio
Resources
Q & A
Glossary
Acronym Guide
Further Reading
Desktop Images
iPhone Wallpapers
By Date/Category
Miscellaneous
Handouts
Image Handouts
Chandra Lithographs
Educational Activities
Printable Games
Chandra Fact Sheets
Presentations
Entire Collection
By Date
By Category
Presentations
Web Shortcuts
Chandra Blog
RSS Feed
Chandra Mobile
Chronicle
Email Newsletter
News & Noteworthy
Image Use Policy
Questions & Answers
Glossary of Terms
Download Guide
Get Adobe Reader
Problems Viewing?
Having trouble viewing a movie? Make sure you update your video plug-ins. Visit our download center for help.
More Information
Quasars & Active Galaxies
X-ray Astronomy Field Guide
Quasars & Active Galaxies
Questions and Answers
Quasars & Active Galaxies
Chandra Images
Quasars & Active Galaxies
Animations & Video: Quasars & Active Galaxies
Page 1234
Click for high-resolution animation
1. Tour of NGC 3393
QuicktimeMPEG Astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have discovered the first pair of supermassive black holes in a spiral galaxy similar to the Milky Way. These black holes were found in the galaxy NGC 3393, which is located about 160 million light years from Earth. This is the view of NGC 3393 from both Chandra and the Hubble Space Telescope. Zooming in further, we see what the center of the galaxy looks like in just X-rays. The two peaks of X-ray emission are, in fact, black holes that are actively growing. They glow in X-rays as gas falling toward the black hole gets hotter. Separated by only 490 light years, the black holes in NGC 3393 are likely the remains of a galactic merger that took place a billion or more years ago.
[Runtime: 1.02]
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
2. Tour of VV 340
QuicktimeMPEG VV 340, also known as Arp 302, is a textbook example of colliding galaxies seen in the very early stages of their interaction. Astronomers have named the edge-on galaxy at the top VV 340A, and VV 340B is the face-on galaxy at the bottom of the image. Millions of years later these two spirals will merge - much like the Milky Way and Andromeda will likely do billions of years from now. Chandra data are being shown here with optical data from Hubble. VV 340 is located about 450 million light years from Earth.
[Runtime: 00:45]
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
3. Multiwavelength Views of NGC 4151
QuicktimeMPEG These images feature the central region of the spiral galaxy NGC 4151. In the pupil of the "eye," X-rays (blue) from Chandra are combined with optical data (yellow) showing positively charged hydrogen. The red around the pupil reveals neutral hydrogen detected by radio observations. Next, we zoom in to a close-up of the central region of the galaxy. The dimensions of the close-up are only 2,000 light years across. Here, the Chandra X-ray data from the larger image are shown in blue, and we add in radio data from the VLA (purple) and HST data (yellow) showing oxygen emission. The linear structures show clear evidence for an earlier outburst from a supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy.
[Runtime: 0.30]
(X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/J.Wang et al.; Optical: Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, La Palma/Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope, Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLA)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
4. Tour of Super-volcano M87
QuicktimeMPEG Earlier this year, a powerful volcano in Iceland erupted and caused havoc with air traffic around Europe. Elsewhere in the Universe, a similar galactic super volcano has been erupting for millions of years. This composite image from NASAs Chandra X-ray Observatory with radio data from the Very Large Array shows a cosmic volcano being driven by a black hole in the center of the M87 galaxy. This eruption is pumping energy into the black holes surroundings and preventing hundreds of millions of new stars from forming just as the volcano in Iceland caused disruptions in the Earths atmosphere. The comparison between the black hole in M87 and the volcano in Iceland shows that even though astronomical phenomena occur in exotic settings and over huge scales, the physics can be very similar to events on Earth.
[Runtime: 01.01]
(X-ray (NASA/CXC/KIPAC/N. Werner, E. Million et al); Radio (NRAO/AUI/NSF/F. Owen) Volcano image: Omar Ragnarsson)

Related Chandra Images:
  • Photo Album: M87

Click for high-resolution animation
5. Tour of SDSS J1254+0846
QuicktimeMPEG Two quasars have been caught in the act of merging, thanks to this new image. Quasars are some of the brightest objects in the universe and are thought to be very distant galaxies with powerful black holes at their centers. This particular pair is located about 4.6 billion light years from Earth. In this image, X-rays from Chandra show the two quasars as bright blue circles. Optical data from a telescope in Chile show tidal tails fanning out from the two colliding galaxies. These tails contain streams of stars and gas that have been stripped by gravity as the two galaxies head towards their ultimate collision.
[Runtime: 0.45]
(X-ray (NASA/CXC/SAO/P. Green et al.), Optical (Carnegie Obs./Magellan/W.Baade Telescope/J.S.Mulchaey et al.))

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
6. Tour of NGC 1068
QuicktimeMPEG This image shows one of the nearest and brightest galaxies to the Milky Way that contains a rapidly growing supermassive black hole known as NGC 1068. X-rays from Chandra along with optical data from Hubble show the majestic spiral structure of this galaxy. Radio data from the Very Large Array expose a jet of material blasting away from the giant black hole at the galaxyís core. The Chandra data also reveal a strong wind that is being driven away at a million miles per hour from this same region. This wind is probably gas that has been accelerated and heated as it swirls towards the black hole. These results help explain how a supermassive black hole can alter the evolution of the galaxy in which it lives.
[Runtime: 0:54]
(X-ray (NASA/CXC/MIT/C.Canizares, D.Evans et al), Optical (NASA/STScI), Radio (NSF/NRAO/VLA))

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
7. Animation of Changes in the X-ray Spectrum
QuicktimeMPEG This animation shows some of the detailed observations used to study the powerful winds in NGC 1068. It begins with a view of the composite image then rotates the view so that the radio jet runs from left to right. The changes in the X-ray spectrum about 3000 light years on either side of the central black hole are then shown. Detailed models applied to these data have allowed the speed and energy of the winds to be estimated.
[Runtime: 0:13]
(X-ray (NASA/CXC/MIT/C.Canizares, D.Evans et al), Optical (NASA/STScI), Radio (NSF/NRAO/VLA))

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
8. Composite Image of NGC 1068
QuicktimeMPEG This is a composite image of NGC 1068, one of the nearest and brightest galaxies containing a rapidly growing supermassive black hole. X-ray data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory are shown in red, optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope in green and radio data from the Very Large Array in blue. The spiral structure of NGC 1068 is shown by the X-ray and optical data, and a jet powered by the central supermassive black hole is shown by the radio data. The Chandra data shows evidence for powerful winds blown from the vicinity of the black hole. These winds contain enough energy to suppress new star formation in NGC 1068.
[Runtime: 0:13]
(X-ray (NASA/CXC/MIT/C.Canizares, D.Evans et al), Optical (NASA/STScI), Radio (NSF/NRAO/VLA))

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
9. Tour of M87
QuicktimeMPEG M87 is a giant elliptical galaxy. At a distance of about 60 million light-years from Earth, M87 is the largest galaxy in the Virgo cluster of some 2,000 galaxies. Bright jets moving at close to the speed of light are seen at nearly all wavelengths, powered by the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. In X-rays, M87 shows evidence for a series of outbursts from the black hole. These outbursts appear as loops and bubbles in the data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The Hubble Space Telescope shows that the monstrous elliptical galaxy is also home to trillions of stars and thousands of globular clusters. Because of its proximity and brightness, as well as its intriguing properties, M87 is one of the most popular targets for amateur and professional astronomers alike.
[Runtime: 0.58]
(X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/W. Forman et al.; Radio: NRAO/AUI/NSF/W. Cotton; Optical: NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), and R. Gendler)

Related Chandra Images:
  • Photo Album: M87

Click for high-resolution animation
10. Tour of Centaurus A
QuicktimeMPEG There is nothing subtle about the black hole in the galaxy Centaurus A. First off, itís about 10 million times more massive than the sun, and Chandraís X-ray image shows itís not just sitting quietly as a bright point in the middle. Instead, the monster black hole is responsible for powering massive jets, including one that extends to the upper left for some 13,000 light years. Radio data also show the effect of these jets far beyond the plane of the galaxy. An image in optical light shows the elliptical galaxy and the dark bands running almost perpendicular to the jet. These are caused by dust lanes created when Centaurus A merged with another galaxy, perhaps 100 million years ago. The combination from all of these telescopes shows us just how much is really going on in Centaurus A.
[Runtime: 0.48]
(Credit: NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al)

Related Chandra Images:

Page 1234