Images by Date
Images by Category
Solar System
Stars
White Dwarfs
Supernovas
Neutron Stars
Black Holes
Milky Way Galaxy
Normal Galaxies
Quasars
Galaxy Clusters
Cosmology/Deep Field
Miscellaneous
Images by Interest
Space Scoop for Kids
Multiwavelength
Sky Map
Constellations
3D Wall
Photo Blog
Top Rated Images
Image Handouts
Desktops
High Res Prints
Fits Files
Image Tutorials
Photo Album Tutorial
False Color
Cosmic Distance
Look-Back Time
Scale & Distance
Angular Measurement
Images & Processing
AVM/Metadata
Getting Hard Copies
Image Use Policy
Web Shortcuts
Chandra Blog
RSS Feed
Chandra Mobile
Chronicle
Email Newsletter
News & Noteworthy
Image Use Policy
Questions & Answers
Glossary of Terms
Download Guide
Get Adobe Reader
More Information
Quasars & Active Galaxies
X-ray Astronomy Field Guide
Quasars & Active Galaxies
Questions and Answers
Quasars & Active Galaxies
Chandra Images
Quasars & Active Galaxies
Related Podcasts
Tour of RX J1131-1231
Download Image

More Information

More Images
X-ray, Radio Composite
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/UMD/A.Wilson et al.; Radio: NRAO/AUI/NSF)


Related Images
Centaurus A
Centaurus A
(09 Jan 08)
PKS 1127-145
PKS 1127-145
(06 Feb 02)
Pictor A:
Spectacular X-ray Jet Points Toward Cosmic Energy Booster


Pictor A
Credit: NASA/UMD/A.Wilson et al.

Radio Galaxy Pictor A. The Chandra X-ray image of Pictor A shows a spectacular jet that emanates from the center of the galaxy (left) and extends across 360 thousand light years toward a brilliant hot spot. The hot spot is at least 800 thousand light years (8 times the diameter of our Milky Way galaxy) away from where the jet originates. The hot spot is thought to represent the advancing head of the jet, which brightens conspicuously where it plows into the tenuous gas of intergalactic space.

One possible explanation for the X rays is that shock waves along the side and head of the X-ray jet are boosting electrons and possibly protons to speeds close to that of light. Jets are thought to be produced by the powerful electromagnetic forces created by magnetized gas swirling toward a black hole. Although most of the material falls into the black hole, some can be ejected at extremely high speeds. Magnetic fields spun out by these forces can extend over vast distances and may help explain the narrowness of the jet.

Fast Facts for Pictor A:
Credit  NASA/UMD/A.Wilson et al.
Scale  Image is 4.2 arcmin across.
Category  Quasars & Active Galaxies
Coordinates (J2000)  RA 05h 19m 49.70s | Dec -45° 46' 45"
Constellation  Pictor
Observation Dates  January 18, 2000
Observation Time  8 hours
Obs. IDs  346
Color Code  Intensity
Instrument  ACIS
References A.Wilson et al. (AAS 196, #34.14)
Release Date  June 06, 2000