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Ssc2004-09a
 

 

 

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Summary

Description
English: This image taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows in unprecedented detail the galaxy Centaurus A's last big meal: a spiral galaxy seemingly twisted into a parallelogram-shaped structure of dust. Spitzer's ability to see dust and also see through it allowed the telescope to peer into the center of Centaurus A and capture this galactic remnant as never before.

An elliptical galaxy located 10 million light-years from Earth, Centaurus A is one of the brightest sources of radio waves in the sky. These radio waves indicate the presence of a supermassive black hole, which may be "feeding" off the leftover galactic meal.

A high-speed jet of gas can be seen shooting above the plane of the galaxy (the faint, fuzzy feature pointing from the center toward the upper left). Jets are a common feature of galaxies, and this one is probably receiving an extra boost from the galactic remnant.

Scientists have created a model that explains how such a strangely geometric structure could arise. In this model, a spiral galaxy falls into an elliptical galaxy, becoming warped and twisted in the process. The folds in the warped disc create the parallelogram-shaped illusion.
Date 1 June 2004(2004-06-01)
Source http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/1190-ssc2004-09a-A-Parallelogram-Shaped-Meal
Author NASA/JPL-Caltech/J. Keene (SSC/Caltech)

Image use policy: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/info/18-Image-Use-Policy

Licensing

Public domain This file is in the public domain because it was created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted". (See Template:PD-USGov, NASA copyright policy page or JPL Image Use Policy.)

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EXIF data:
File name ssc2004-09a.jpg
Size, bytes 1548763
Mime type image/jpeg
Orientation of image 1
Image resolution in width direction 300/1
Image resolution in height direction 300/1
Unit of X and Y resolution 2
Color space information 65535
Exif image width 1750
Exif image length 1400
Software used Adobe Photoshop 7.0
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