Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Bristol U./M. Hardcastle et al.;
Radio: NRAO/VLA/Bristol U./M. Hardcastle
Cosmic Super Collider
Jets emitted from the centers of certain active galaxies are some of the most
spectacular phenomena in the Universe. These jets can stretch for millions of
lightyears into space, and remain highly collimated over that immense distance.
The enormous energy of these jets - matter in them flies out at half the speed
of light, or more - must be produced by a compact, powerful engine, like a black
hole. Galactic jets are often termed "radio jets" since they were first
discovered by their radio emission, but they emit at other wavelengths as well.
above is a composite image of the jet from the famous radio galaxy Centaurus A. In the
image, radio emission (imaged by the VLA) from the jet is shown in red,
while X-ray emission (imaged by the Chandra
X-ray Observatory) is shown in blue. The X-ray emission primarily arises
from the end of the jet, where the jet crashes into the intergalactic medium,
converting the kinetic energy of the jet into X-ray emitting temperatures.
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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified April 28, 2003