From the Chandra X-ray Observatory
This Chandra image shows a giant football-shaped cavity (the yellow/light orange region) within the X-ray emitting hot gas surrounding the galaxy Cygnus A. The cavity in the hot gas has been created by two powerful jets emitted from the central black hole region in the nucleus of Cygnus A. Hot gas is steadily being piled up around the cavity as it continuously expands, creating a bright rim of X-ray emission (bright orange area).
Cygnus A is a member of large cluster containing many galaxies. Extremely hot (tens of millions of degrees Celsius) gas is spread between the galaxies. Although it has a very low density, this gas provides enough resistance to slow down the outward advancement of the particle jets from Cygnus A. The jets themselves terminate in radio and X-ray emitting "hot spots" some 300,000 light years from the center of the galaxy. Fast atomic particles and magnetic fields from the jets spill out into the region, providing pressure that continuously inflates the cavity. Chandra observed Cygnus A with the Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS).
Image Title: Chandra Examines Cygnus A
based on accompanying internet texyt
Credit: NASA/CXC/A. Wilson et al.
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Last Modified On: Saturday, December 16, 2000