3C321 in 60 Seconds
Narrator (Megan Watzke, CXC) 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.