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

Title: 
X-Rays from the Perseus Cluster Core
Explanation: 
The Perseus Cluster [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap041025.html ] of thousands of galaxies, 250 million light-years distant, is one of [ http://crux.astr.ua.edu/white/mug/cluster/clusters.html ] the most massive objects in the Universe [ http://astro.uwaterloo.ca/~mjhudson/research/threed/ ] and the brightest galaxy cluster in the x-ray sky [ http://chandra.harvard.edu/xray_sources/ ]. At its core lies the giant cannibal [ http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/newsdesk/archive/ releases/1999/06/ ] galaxy Perseus A (NGC 1275) [ http://heritage.stsci.edu/2003/14/supplemental.html ], accreting matter as gas and galaxies [ http://chandra.harvard.edu/xray_sources/ galaxy_clusters.html ] fall into it. This deep Chandra [ http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2005/perseus/ ] Observatory x-ray image spans about 300,000 light-years across the galaxy cluster core. It shows remarkable details [ http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0510476 ] 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 [ http://oposite.stsci.edu/pubinfo/PR/2000/22/index.html ] 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 [ http://chandra.harvard.edu/press/kits/perseus/ 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 [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap030505.html ].
Credit and Copyright: 
A. Fabian (IoA Cambridge [ http://www-xray.ast.cam.ac.uk/ ]) et al. [ http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0510476 ], CXC [ http://chandra.harvard.edu/index.html ], NASA [ http://www.nasa.gov/home/index.html ]
facet_where: 
Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)
facet_what: 
Crux
original url: 
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap051208.html
UID: 
SPD-APOD-ap051208