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More Images of IC 4970 and NGC 6872
1
Click for large jpg X-ray
Jpeg, Tif, PS
Click for large jpg Optical
Jpeg, Tif, PS
Click for large jpg X-ray/Optical
Jpeg, Tif, PS
Click for large jpg Infrared
Jpeg, Tif, PS
X-ray, Optical & Infrared Images of IC 4970 & NGC 6872
These composite image of a collision between two galaxies, NGC 6872 and IC 4970, contains X-rays from Chandra (purple), infrared data from Spitzer (red), and optical data from the Very Large Telescope (red, green and blue.) When combined, these data reveal that IC 4970, the small galaxy at the top of the image, is feeding its supermassive black hole by drawing cold gas from its partner galaxy, the spiral NGC 6872. These two galaxies are in the process of merging, allowing the reservoir of fuel to be supplied to the growing black hole.
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/M.Machacek; Optical: ESO/VLT; Infrared: NASA/JPL/Caltech)
2
Click for large jpg Labeled
Jpeg, Tif, PS
Click for large jpg X-ray/Optical Labeled
Jpeg, Tif, PS
Labeled Images of IC 4970 & NGC 6872
The latest data from Chandra and Spitzer show that IC 4970, the small galaxy at the top of the image, contains an AGN, but one that is heavily cocooned in gas and dust. This means in optical light telescopes, like the VLT, there is little to see. X-rays and infrared light, however, can penetrate this veil of material and reveal the light show that is generated as material heats up before falling onto the black hole (seen as a bright point-like source).
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/M.Machacek; Optical: ESO/VLT; Infrared: NASA/JPL/Caltech)
3
NGC 6872 with Scale Bar
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/M.Machacek; Optical: ESO/VLT; Infrared: NASA/JPL/Caltech


Return to IC 4970 and NGC 6872 (December 10, 2009)