Detail View: NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day Collection: X-Rays from the Perseus Cluster Core

X-Rays from the Perseus Cluster Core
The Perseus Cluster [ ] of thousands of galaxies, 250 million light-years distant, is one of [ ] the most massive objects in the Universe [ ] and the brightest galaxy cluster in the x-ray sky [ ]. At its core lies the giant cannibal [ releases/1999/06/ ] galaxy Perseus A (NGC 1275) [ ], accreting matter as gas and galaxies [ galaxy_clusters.html ] fall into it. This deep Chandra [ ] Observatory x-ray image spans about 300,000 light-years across the galaxy cluster core. It shows remarkable details [ ] of x-ray emission from the monster galaxy and surrounding hot (30-70 million degrees C) cluster gas. The bright central source is the supermassive black hole [ ] at the core of Perseus A itself. Low density regions are seen as dark bubbles or voids, believed to be generated by cyclic outbursts of activity from the central black hole. The activity creates pressure waves - sound waves on a cosmic scale [ blackhole_sound.html ]- that ripple through the x-ray hot gas. Dramatically, the blue-green wisps just above centre in the false-color view are likely x-ray shadows of the remains of a small galaxy falling into the burgeoning Perseus A [ ].
Credit and Copyright: 
A. Fabian (IoA Cambridge [ ]) et al. [ ], CXC [ ], NASA [ ]
Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)
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