Centaurus A in 60 Seconds
Narrator (Megan Watzke, CXC) There is nothing subtle about the black hole in the galaxy Centaurus A. First off, it's about 10 million times more massive than the sun, and Chandra's X-ray image shows it's 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.