Friday, May 29, 2009


A Cosmic Ghost

Credit: X-ray (NASA/CXC/IoA/A.Fabian et al.); Optical (SDSS), Radio (STFC/JBO/MERLIN)

"The diffuse blue object near the center of the image is believed to be a cosmic "ghost" generated by a huge eruption from a supermassive black hole in a distant galaxy. This X-ray ghost, a.k.a. HDF 130, remains after powerful radio waves from particles traveling away from the black hole at almost the speed of light, have died off. As the electrons radiate away their energy they produce X-rays by interacting with the pervasive sea of photons remaining from the Big Bang - the cosmic background radiation."

So the ghost cannot hide from Chandra! We have our methods. Another one illustrated below where Active Galactic Nucleus - AGN are trying to hide but Chandra is not easily fooled! :-)

Credit: NASA/CXC/Durham/
D.Alexander et al.

"This young galaxy contains an active galactic nucleus (AGN), or quasar, in its center, a luminous object powered by the rapid growth of a supermassive black hole. Some of the light from the AGN is obscured by dense gas and dust near the center of the galaxy. The galaxy itself is undergoing a growth spurt, as shown by bright regions of star formation in the spiral arms."

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