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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
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Click for high-resolution animation
1. 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))

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2. 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))

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Click for high-resolution animation
3. 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
4. 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:

Click for high-resolution animation
5. Tour of NGC 4258
QuicktimeMPEG The galaxy NGC 4258 has its arms crossed. At least it appears that it does. A composite image of NGC 4258, about 25 million light-years from Earth, shows an X-shaped pattern when seen in different types of light. Infrared radiation from the Spitzer Space Telescope and optical light data from the Digitized Sky Survey show one set of arms, which are made from stars and dust from the galaxy. However, x-ray data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and radio emission from the Very Large Array reveal a different pair of arms. These dislocated arms are the result of shockwaves, generated by the giant black hole in the center of NGC 4258.
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(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Maryland/A.S. Wilson et al.; Optical: Pal.Obs. DSS; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech; VLA: NRAO/AUI/NSF)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
6. Tour of 3C321
QuicktimeMPEG In 3C321, a jet from a black hole in one of the galaxies is pummeling its neighbor galaxy, the first time this type of galactic violence has ever been seen. The jet could bring big trouble for any planets in its path, but could also trigger a burst of star formation in its wake. Beginning with a wide-field view of X-ray and radio emission, we see that the jets from the black hole extend amazingly far, about 1.7 million light-years. Next, we zoom into the two galaxies where most of the action is happening. Radio emission from the Very Large Array and Merlin telescopes, optical and ultraviolet data from Hubble, and X-rays from Chandra all reveal different features of this system. The combined image of all of these data shows how the jet from the galaxy on the lower left impacts the companion galaxy to the upper right. The jet hits the galaxy's edge and is then disrupted and deflected, much like how a stream of water from a hose will splay out after hitting a wall at an angle.
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(X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/D.Evans et al.; Optical/UV: NASA/STScI; Radio: NSF/VLA/CfA/D.Evans et al., STFC/JBO/MERLIN)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
7. Important features of Centaurus A
QuicktimeMPEG This short movie highlights some of the important features of the Chandra X-ray Observatory image of Centaurus A. The entire Chandra image is shown, followed by a zoom into the center of the galaxy where the active nucleus and the launching point for a jet are featured. Particles in the jet and radiation from the active nucleus are both powered by a supermassive black hole. The movie then pans to the upper left to show more of the jet, followed by a view of the shorter "counterjet" pointed in the opposite direction.
[Runtime: 0:30]
(NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al)

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Click for high-resolution animation
8. Multiwavelength views of Centaurus A
QuicktimeMPEG This sequence of images of the galaxy Centaurus A begins with the deep Chandra X-ray Observatory image, then shows the radio image from the Very Large Array, then the optical image from the ESO's Wide-Field Imager (WFI) camera at the ESO/MPG 2.2-m telescope on La Silla. Finally, a composite image with all three wavelengths is shown.
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(X-ray X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al; Radio: NSF/VLA/Univ.Hertfordshire/M.Hardcastle; Optical: ESO/VLT/ISAAC/M.Rejkuba et al.)

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Click for high-resolution animation
9. Comparison of 3C321 Composite to Artist's Illustration
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This sequence compares the composite image of 3C321 to an artist's illustration of the system, showing the main galaxy and the companion galaxy. A jet of particles generated by a supermassive black hole at the center of the main galaxy is striking the companion galaxy. The jet is disrupted and deflected by this impact. The key features of this system are labeled in the final view.
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(Image: X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/D.Evans et al.; Optical/UV: NASA/STScI; Radio: NSF/VLA/CfA/D.Evans et al., STFC/JBO/MERLIN; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss)

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Click for high-resolution animation
10. Multiwavelength Images of 3C321
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This series of images shows how 3C321 looks in a variety of types of radiation. Beginning with a wide-field view of X-ray and radio emission, the image reveals jets that extend for about 1.7 million light years before zooming into the central two galaxies. Optical and ultraviolet data from Hubble, radio emission from the Very Large Array and MERLIN, and X-rays from Chandra combine to reveal how the jet from the main galaxy on the lower left is striking its companion galaxy to the upper right. The jet impacts the companion galaxy at its edge and is then disrupted and deflected, much like how a stream of water from a hose will splay out after hitting a wall at an angle.
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(X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/D.Evans et al.; Optical/UV: NASA/STScI; Radio: NSF/VLA/CfA/D.Evans et al., STFC/JBO/MERLIN)

Related Chandra Images:

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