Skip all navigation and jump to content Jump to site navigation Jump to section navigation.
NASA Logo - Goddard Space Flight Center + Visit NASA.gov
HOME PROJECTS RESOURCES SEARCH MAP

+ Advanced Search
Home
Home
View Most Recently Released Imagery
View Gallery of Imagery: A topical collection of SVS Imagery
Search Imagery by the keywords assigned to it
Search Imagery by the instruments that supplied data for a visualization product
Search Imagery by the series of visualizations that have been produced
Search Imagery by the scientist providing the data used in a visualization product
Search Imagery by the animator that created the product
Search Imagery by the identification number assigned to the visualization product
See other search options





  + RSS Feeds
  + Podcasts
blank image
Previous Animation Number   Next Animation Number
Radio Telescopes Capture Best-Ever Snapshot of a Black Hole's Jets

Centaurus A is a giant elliptical active galaxy 12 million light years away. Radio and X-ray images reveal features associated with jets emanating from near the galaxy's central supermassive black hole, which has a mass of 55 million suns. Now, the TANAMI project has provided the best-ever view of these jets. In the radio image of the galaxy's core, the black hole is invisible but the jets show in great detail. Features as small as 15 light-days across can be resolved. The powerful jets feed vast lobes of radio-emitting gas that reach far beyond the visible galaxy.
Share: Share via E-mail E-mail   Share on TwitterTwitter
More information on this topic available at:
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/universe/features/radio-particle-jets.html

Short video about Centaurus A jets.    Short video about Centaurus A jets.

For complete transcript, click here.
Duration: 58.4 seconds
Available formats:
  1280x720 (59.94 fps) QT         828 MB
  1280x720 (59.94 fps) QT         233 MB
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) QT         49 MB
  960x720 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   34 MB
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) WMV         26 MB
  1280x720 (30 fps) QT         24 MB
  1280x720 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   18 MB
  1280x720 (59.94 fps) QT         15 MB
  640x360 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   11 MB
  320x180 (29.97 fps) MPEG-4   3 MB
  1280x720   JPEG         858 KB
  960x540 (29.97 fps) WEBM         13 MB
How to play our movies


Left: The giant elliptical galaxy NGC 5128 is the radio source known as Centaurus A. Vast radio-emitting lobes (shown as orange in this optical/radio composite) extend nearly a million light-years from the galaxy. Credit: Capella Observatory (optical), with radio data from Ilana Feain, Tim Cornwell, and Ron Ekers (CSIRO/ATNF), R. Morganti (ASTRON), and N. Junkes (MPIfR). Right: This radio image from the TANAMI project provides the sharpest-ever view of a supermassive black hole's jets. As seen here, the full extent of the jet and counterjet is 4.16 light-years, smaller than the distance between our sun and the nearest star. The image resolves details as small as 15 light-days across. Undetected between the jets is the galaxy's 55-million-solar-mass black hole. Credit: NASA/TANAMI/Müller et al.    Left: The giant elliptical galaxy NGC 5128 is the radio source known as Centaurus A. Vast radio-emitting lobes (shown as orange in this optical/radio composite) extend nearly a million light-years from the galaxy. Credit: Capella Observatory (optical), with radio data from Ilana Feain, Tim Cornwell, and Ron Ekers (CSIRO/ATNF), R. Morganti (ASTRON), and N. Junkes (MPIfR). Right: This radio image from the TANAMI project provides the sharpest-ever view of a supermassive black hole's jets. As seen here, the full extent of the jet and counterjet is 4.16 light-years, smaller than the distance between our sun and the nearest star. The image resolves details as small as 15 light-days across. Undetected between the jets is the galaxy's 55-million-solar-mass black hole. Credit: NASA/TANAMI/Müller et al.

Available formats:
  2898 x 1823     JPEG       1 MB


No Labels. Left: The giant elliptical galaxy NGC 5128 is the radio source known as Centaurus A. Vast radio-emitting lobes (shown as orange in this optical/radio composite) extend nearly a million light-years from the galaxy. Credit: Capella Observatory (optical), with radio data from Ilana Feain, Tim Cornwell, and Ron Ekers (CSIRO/ATNF), R. Morganti (ASTRON), and N. Junkes (MPIfR). Right: This radio image from the TANAMI project provides the sharpest-ever view of a supermassive black hole's jets. As seen here, the full extent of the jet and counterjet is 4.16 light-years, smaller than the distance between our sun and the nearest star. The image resolves details as small as 15 light-days across. Undetected between the jets is the galaxy's 55-million-solar-mass black hole. Credit: NASA/TANAMI/Müller et al.    No Labels. Left: The giant elliptical galaxy NGC 5128 is the radio source known as Centaurus A. Vast radio-emitting lobes (shown as orange in this optical/radio composite) extend nearly a million light-years from the galaxy. Credit: Capella Observatory (optical), with radio data from Ilana Feain, Tim Cornwell, and Ron Ekers (CSIRO/ATNF), R. Morganti (ASTRON), and N. Junkes (MPIfR). Right: This radio image from the TANAMI project provides the sharpest-ever view of a supermassive black hole's jets. As seen here, the full extent of the jet and counterjet is 4.16 light-years, smaller than the distance between our sun and the nearest star. The image resolves details as small as 15 light-days across. Undetected between the jets is the galaxy's 55-million-solar-mass black hole. Credit: NASA/TANAMI/Müller et al.

Available formats:
  2898 x 1823     JPEG       1 MB
  320 x 180         PNG       62 KB


German Labels.  Left: The giant elliptical galaxy NGC 5128 is the radio source known as Centaurus A. Vast radio-emitting lobes (shown as orange in this optical/radio composite) extend nearly a million light-years from the galaxy. Credit: Capella Observatory (optical), with radio data from Ilana Feain, Tim Cornwell, and Ron Ekers (CSIRO/ATNF), R. Morganti (ASTRON), and N. Junkes (MPIfR). Right: This radio image from the TANAMI project provides the sharpest-ever view of a supermassive black hole's jets. As seen here, the full extent of the jet and counterjet is 4.16 light-years, smaller than the distance between our sun and the nearest star. The image resolves details as small as 15 light-days across. Undetected between the jets is the galaxy's 55-million-solar-mass black hole. Credit: NASA/TANAMI/Müller et al.    German Labels. Left: The giant elliptical galaxy NGC 5128 is the radio source known as Centaurus A. Vast radio-emitting lobes (shown as orange in this optical/radio composite) extend nearly a million light-years from the galaxy. Credit: Capella Observatory (optical), with radio data from Ilana Feain, Tim Cornwell, and Ron Ekers (CSIRO/ATNF), R. Morganti (ASTRON), and N. Junkes (MPIfR). Right: This radio image from the TANAMI project provides the sharpest-ever view of a supermassive black hole's jets. As seen here, the full extent of the jet and counterjet is 4.16 light-years, smaller than the distance between our sun and the nearest star. The image resolves details as small as 15 light-days across. Undetected between the jets is the galaxy's 55-million-solar-mass black hole. Credit: NASA/TANAMI/Müller et al.

Available formats:
  2901 x 1823     JPEG       1 MB


The giant elliptical galaxy NGC 5128 is the radio source known as Centaurus A. Vast radio-emitting lobes (shown as orange in this optical/radio composite) extend nearly a million light-years from the galaxy. Credit: Capella Observatory (optical), with radio data from Ilana Feain, Tim Cornwell, and Ron Ekers (CSIRO/ATNF), R. Morganti (ASTRON), and N. Junkes (MPIfR).    The giant elliptical galaxy NGC 5128 is the radio source known as Centaurus A. Vast radio-emitting lobes (shown as orange in this optical/radio composite) extend nearly a million light-years from the galaxy. Credit: Capella Observatory (optical), with radio data from Ilana Feain, Tim Cornwell, and Ron Ekers (CSIRO/ATNF), R. Morganti (ASTRON), and N. Junkes (MPIfR).

Available formats:
  1963 x 2570     JPEG       3 MB


The elliptical galaxy NGC 5128, host of the Centaurus A radio source, as it appears in visible light. The galaxy is located about 12 million light-years away and is one of the closest sporting an active supermassive black hole. Credit: Capella Observatory    The elliptical galaxy NGC 5128, host of the Centaurus A radio source, as it appears in visible light. The galaxy is located about 12 million light-years away and is one of the closest sporting an active supermassive black hole. Credit: Capella Observatory

Available formats:
  2000 x 2946     JPEG       3 MB


This composite of visible, microwave (orange) and X-ray (blue) data reveals the jets and radio-emitting lobes emanating from Centaurus A's central black hole. Credit: ESO/WFI (visible); MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A.Weiss et al. (microwave); NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al. (X-ray)    This composite of visible, microwave (orange) and X-ray (blue) data reveals the jets and radio-emitting lobes emanating from Centaurus A's central black hole. Credit: ESO/WFI (visible); MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A.Weiss et al. (microwave); NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al. (X-ray)

Available formats:
  1280 x 1348     JPEG   314 KB


The TANAMI array consists of nine radio telescopes located on four continents. By combining data from the individual telescopes, astronomers can acquire images with the sharpness of a single telescope some 6,200 miles (10,000 km) across -- about 80 percent of Earth's diameter. Credit: Matthias Kadler, Univ. of Würzburg    The TANAMI array consists of nine radio telescopes located on four continents. By combining data from the individual telescopes, astronomers can acquire images with the sharpness of a single telescope some 6,200 miles (10,000 km) across -- about 80 percent of Earth's diameter. Credit: Matthias Kadler, Univ. of Würzburg

Available formats:
  2499 x 1425     JPEG       2 MB

Short URL to This Page:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10770
Animation Number:10770
Completed:2011-05-17
Video Editor:Scott Wiessinger (UMBC)
Narrator:Scott Wiessinger (UMBC)
Producer:Scott Wiessinger (UMBC)
Writers:Francis Reddy (SPSYS)
 Scott Wiessinger (UMBC)
Series:Narrated Movies
 Goddard Shorts
 Astrophysics Visualizations
 Astrophysics Stills
 Astrophysics Features
Goddard TV Tape:G2011-058 -- Best Ever view of Black Hole's Jets
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. However, each image should be credited as indicated above.
 
Keywords:
SVS >> Galaxy
SVS >> HDTV
DLESE >> Space science
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Spectral/Engineering >> Radio Wave
SVS >> Black Hole
SVS >> Active Galaxy
SVS >> Astrophysics
SVS >> Edited Feature
DLESE >> Narrated
 
 


Back to Top
Many of our multimedia items use the GCMD keywords. These keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0

USA.gov logo - the U.S. Government's official Web portal. + Privacy Policy and Important Notices
+ Reproduction Guidelines
NASA NASA Official:
Content Contact:
Curator: