Fig13_9 galaxy NGC 5128 and the bright radio galaxy Centaurus A

Fig13_9 galaxy NGC 5128 and the bright radio galaxy Centaurus A

Fig. 13.9 . Composite image of the optically visible galaxy NGC 5128 and the bright radio galaxy Centaurus A. X-ray jets and radio lobes emanate from the active galaxy’s central, super-massive black hole. Microwave observations (orange), at a wavelength of 0.0087 m with the APEX array, show the radio lobes; the jets are seen in an x-ray image (blue) from the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the visible light image is from a 2.2–m (87-inch) telescope of the European Southern Observatory. The central black hole, thought to have a mass of about 55 million solar masses, apparently ejects in falling matter in opposing particle jets at about half the speed of light. The jets inflate the two radio-emitting lobes of Centaurus A, one of the biggest and brightest objects in the radio sky and nearly 20 times the angular extent of the full Moon. The galaxy NGC 5128 has unusual dust lanes and is about 12 million light-years from Earth. The radio lobes are about a million light-years in extent. [Courtesy of ESO/WFI (visible light), MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A. Weiss et al. (microwave), NASA/CXC/CFA/R. Kraft et al. (x-ray).]

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University