M49, M84, M89: Chandra Views Galactic Nuclei in X-rays

The nuclei of M49, M84, and M89 as seen by Chandra in X-ray light.

Nasa’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has been used to observe the Massive Objects in the Galactic Nuclei of the galaxies M49, M84, M89, and NGC 5846. These investigations provide one of the best pieces of evidence yet that many supermassive central objects in galaxies are spinning extremely rapidly. These images show pairs of huge bubbles, or cavities, in the hot gaseous atmospheres of the galaxies, created in each case by jets produced by a central supermassive object, thought to be black holes by many astronomers. Studying these cavities allows the power output of the jets to be calculated.

The four images released to the press are just a fraction of the total of nine galaxies surveyed in this investigation.

Chandra Press Release:
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2008/bh_spin/

SEDS page of M49:
http://messier.seds.org/m/m049.html
SEDS page of M84:
http://messier.seds.org/m/m084.html
SEDS page of M89:
http://messier.seds.org/m/m089.html

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