NOAO < NEWS < Powerful blasts from a giant black hole, inset image

Powerful blasts from a giant black hole

Evidence for powerful blasts produced by a giant black hole have been discovered with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. Images of NGC 5195, the companion to M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, show slender arcs of cool hydrogen-emitting gas (red) that border two giant arcs of hot X-ray emitting gas (blue). The arcs formed when hot gas expelled from the black hole swept up cooler gas from the center of the galaxy. The H-alpha image (red) was taken with the Kitt Peak National Observatory 0.9-meter telescope. The red blobs to the left are regions of hydrogen emission from M51.

Read more in the Chandra Press Release.