About this image
This image shows a deep Hydrogen-alpha image of the brightest X-ray source in the sky, NGC1275, taken by the WIYN 3.5-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, AZ, in 1999.
The filaments emanating from this galaxy are produced through largely unknown mechanisms, but they likely are the result of an interaction between the black hole in the center of the galaxy and the intracluster medium surrounding it. (The glowing background objects in this image are galaxies in that same galaxy cluster.)
At a distance of about 230 million light-years, this is the nearest example to Earth of such vast structures, which are seen surrounding the most massive galaxies throughout the Universe.
Minimum credit line: C. Conselice/Caltech and WIYN/NOAO/AURA/NSF
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