Chandra and VLA image of MS 0735.6+7421
Credit: NASA/CXC/Ohio U./B.McNamara et al.; Radio: NRAO/VLA

Watch Your Cavities

Black holes can be very violent, and a recent observation by the Chandra X-ray observatory found the most violent one. The image above shows a composite X-ray and radio image of a galaxy cluster called MS 0735.6+7421. The bright central part is believed to be emission from the supermassive black hole at the center of the biggest galaxy in the cluster. The X-ray emission, in red, shows 2 cavities on either side of the black hole. There's little X-ray emission from these cavities, but observations from the VLA (in blue) show that the cavities are filled with electrons producing radio emission. These cavities are believed to have been created by a major outburst of the black hole, possibly the most powerful explosion ever observed.

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Each week the HEASARC brings you new, exciting and beautiful images from X-ray and Gamma ray astronomy. Check back each week and be sure to check out the HEAPOW archive!

Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Friday, 20-Apr-2012 15:23:12 EDT