Featured Image (Credits ISRO)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fire Works Light Years Away!!

Brought to you by NASA

Galactic Pyrotechnics (Credits NASA)
This could never get better for those who enjoy fire works, a Galactic firework, albeit not visible to naked eyes. 

NASA has released image of a galaxy about 23 million light years away that is currently a site of impressive, ongoing fireworks. This galactic light show involves a giant black hole, shock waves and vast reservoirs of gas.
The concerned galaxy is NGC 4258, also known as M106. Its is a spiral galaxy similar to our Milky Way, but with a difference that it has two extra spiral arms that glow in X-ray, optical and radio light. 
The anomalous arms are seen in this new composite image of NGC 4258, where X-rays from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory are blue, radio data from the NSF’s Karl Jansky Very Large Array are purple, optical data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope are yellow and infrared data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope are red.A new study made with Spitzer shows that shock waves, similar to sonic booms from supersonic planes, are heating large amounts of gas – equivalent to about 10 million suns. What is generating these shock waves? Researchers think that the supermassive black hole at the center of NGC 4258 is producing powerful jets of high-energy particles. These jets strike the disk of the galaxy and generate shock waves. These shock waves, in turn, heat the gas – composed mainly of hydrogen molecules – to thousands of degrees.The Chandra X-ray image reveals huge bubbles of hot gas above and below the plane of the galaxy. These bubbles indicate that much of the gas that was originally in the disk of the galaxy has been heated and ejected into the outer regions by the jets from the black hole.

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