Saturday, January 25, 2014

Black Hole Amid Galaxy Cluster RX J1532.9+3021

RX J1532.9+3021: The black hole is in a galaxy cluster located about 3.9 billion light years from Earth.

Astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes to reveal one of the most powerful black holes known. The supermassive black hole is in the center of a galaxy cluster named RX J1532.9+3021 located about 3.9 billion light years from Earth. The image here is a composite of X-ray data from Chandra revealing hot gas in the cluster in purple and optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope showing galaxies in yellow. Supersonic jets generated by the black hole have drilled into the hot gas and pushed it aside, forming the large cavities that can be seen on either side of the central galaxy (mouse over the image for a labeled version).

Scale: Image is 1.6 arcmin on a side (about 1.6 million light years).

Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Stanford/J.Hlavacek-Larrondo et al, Optical: NASA/ESA/STScI/M.Postman & CLASH team

Note: For more information, see RX J1532.9+3021: Extreme Power of Black Hole Revealed.

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