Sunday, April 8, 2012

Cosmic Collision Likely Spawned Massive Nearby Galaxy

Date: 06 April 2012 Time: 03:58 PM ET

A new view of the huge galaxy Centaurus A, snapped in infrared and X-ray light.
The peculiar galaxy Centaurus A in far-infrared (red and orange) and X-ray (blue/cyan/purple) light. Inner structural features seen in this image are helping scientists understand the mechanisms and interactions within the galaxy, as are the jets seen extending thousands of light-years from the black hole believed to be at its heart.
CREDIT: Far-infrared: ESA/Herschel/PACS/SPIRE/C.D. Wilson, MacMaster University, Canada; X-ray: ESA/XMM-Newton/EPIC

An enormous nearby galaxy traces its birth to a cataclysmic collision between two older galaxies, new observations from two European spacecraft suggest.
Previous images in visible light have hinted at a complex inner structure in Centaurus A, a giant elliptical galaxy found about 12 million light-years from Earth. The new views — captured in infrared and X-ray wavelengths by the European Space Agency's Herschel and XMM-Newton space observatories, respectively — map out that structure in greater detail and strengthen theories about its violent origins, researchers said.
Herschel was able to peer through Centaurus A's central band of obscuring dust. The telescope's images reveal the flattened inner disk of a spiral galaxy whose shape is probably due to a merger with an elliptical galaxy long ago, researchers said.



Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < >
Electronic Mail - < >
  < >
Twitter: < >
Facebook: < >
Blog: < >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < >
* Public Transit:
  < >

No comments:

Post a Comment