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More Images: NASA's Chandra Identifies an Underachieving Black Hole
X-ray & Radio Images of H1821+643
Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Nottingham/H. Russell et al.; Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLA; Image Processing: NASA/CXC/SAO/N. Wolk
Click for large jpg Composite
Jpeg, Tif
Click for large jpg X-ray
Jpeg, Tif
Click for large jpg Radio
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In the center of these images is the quasar H1821+643, a rapidly growing supermassive black hole that astronomers have found is underachieving, despite producing intense radiation and a jet of particles seen in radio data from the Very Large Array.

Located in the middle of a cluster of galaxies, H1821+643 is surrounded by huge quantities of hot gas detected in X-rays by Chandra. The high temperatures and densities of the hot gas around the quasar shows that the black hole is having a weaker impact on its host galaxy than many of its other counterparts in other galaxy clusters. H1821+643 is the closest quasar to Earth in a cluster of galaxies. It is located 3.4 billion light-years from Earth and the image is about a million light-years across at the distance of the quasar.

3D Printable Files: H1821+643
(3D Print Credit: NASA/CXC/A. Jubett, using software by Tactile Universe/N. Bonne & C. Krawczyk & Blender)
Click to enlarge image

Files for 3D Printing:

This tactile plate of H1821+643 is a physical relief map based on the intensity of X-ray and radio data, depicting a quasar, a rare and extreme class of supermassive black hole. H1821+643 is located about 3.4 billion light-years from Earth.

At the center of the image is a raised, circular X-ray plateau, similar to a large button ready to be pressed. A less-distinct, bar-shaped structure of radio data, slightly larger than the width of the X-ray plateau, surrounds this circular structure. The radio bar also extends above and below the X-ray button, stretching in a somewhat straight line from about the one o'clock position to the seven o'clock position on a clock face.

On either side of the radio bar, more X-ray data is present as rippling, wispy clouds of hot gas that are raised higher closer to the central features. The more bumpy clouds represent more dense gas.

Return to: NASA's Chandra Identifies an Underachieving Black Hole (March 21, 2024)