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M87 Super-Volcano
 

 

 

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Summary

Description
English: This image shows the eruption of a galactic “super-volcano” in the massive galaxy M87, as witnessed by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and NSF's Very Large Array (VLA).


The cluster surrounding M87 is filled with hot gas glowing in X-ray light (and shown in blue) that is detected by Chandra. As this gas cools, it can fall toward the galaxy's centre where it should continue to cool even faster and form new stars.

However, radio observations with the VLA (red) suggest that in M87 jets of very energetic particles produced by the black hole interrupt this process. These jets lift up the relatively cool gas near the centre of the galaxy and produce shock waves in the galaxy's atmosphere because of their supersonic speed.
Date 20 August 2010(2010-08-20)
Source NASA Image of the Day
Author X-ray: NASA/CXC/KIPAC/N. Werner et al Radio: NSF/NRAO/AUI/W. Cotton

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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