CXC: 'H' is for Hot and Huge

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CXC: 'H' is for Hot and Huge

Post by bystander » Thu May 04, 2023 4:44 pm

M84: 'H' is for Hot and Huge in Chandra Image
NASA | MSFC | SAO | Chandra X-ray Observatory | 2023 May 04
Click to view full size image 1 or image 2
X-ray: NASA/CXC/Princeton Univ/C. Bambic et al.;
Optical: SDSS; Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLA/ESO;
Image processing: NASA/CXC/SAO/N.Wolk

With a single letter seemingly etched in the X-ray glow around it, a giant black hole at the center of a massive elliptical galaxy is making a mark on its surroundings.

This “H”-shaped structure is found in a detailed new X-ray map of the multimillion-degree gas around the galaxy Messier 84 (M84).

As gas is captured by the gravitational force of the black hole, some of it will fall into the abyss, never to be seen again. Some of the gas, however, avoids this fate and instead gets blasted away from the black hole in the form of jets of particles. These jets can push out cavities, in the hot gas surrounding the black hole. Given the orientation of the jets to Earth and the profile of the hot gas, the cavities in M84 form what appears to resemble the letter “H.” ...

Astronomers used NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory to make a map of the hot gas (pink) in and around M84, reaching to within only about 100 light-years away from the black hole in the center of the galaxy. This gas radiates at temperatures in the tens of millions of degrees, making it primarily observable in X-rays. The huge letter “H” is about 40,000 light-years tall — about half the width of the Milky Way. The radio image from the National Science Foundation’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) (blue) reveals the jets streaking away from the black hole. Optical data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (white) shows M84 and neighboring galaxies. The letter H and the position of the black hole are labeled. ...

AGN Feeding and Feedback in M84: From Kiloparsec Scales to the Bondi Radius ~ C. J. Bambic et al
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