Chandra "Hears" a Supermassive Black Hole in Perseus

Chandra_95_1024

chandra_95 September 1st, 2003

Credit: NASA/CXC/IoA/A.Fabian et al.

Chandra's 53-hour observation of the central region of the Perseus galaxy cluster (left) has revealed wavelike features (right) that appear to be sound waves. The features were discovered by using a special image-processing technique to bring out subtle changes in brightness. These sound waves are thought to have been generated by explosive events occurring around a supermassive black hole (bright white spot) in Perseus A, the huge galaxy at the center of the cluster. The image also shows two vast, bubble-shaped cavities filled with high-energy particles and magnetic fields. They create the sound waves by pushing the hot X-ray emitting gas aside. The pitch of the sound waves translates into the note of B flat, 57 octaves below middle-C. This frequency is over a million billion times deeper than the limits of human hearing, so the sound is much too deep to be heard.

Provider: Chandra X-ray Observatory

Image Source: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2003/perseus/

Curator: Chandra X-ray Observatory, Cambridge, MA, USA

Image Use Policy: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/image_use.html

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Image Details

Image Type
Collage
Object Name
Perseus Cluster A426

Distance

Universescale3
250,000,000 light years

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 3h 19m 48.2s
DEC = 41° 30’ 40.5”
Constellation
Perseus

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Red Chandra (ACIS) X-ray (Soft X-ray) 1.37916666666667 nm
Green Chandra (ACIS) X-ray (Medium X-ray) 496.5 pm
Blue Chandra (ACIS) X-ray (Hard X-ray) 236.4 pm
Pseudocolor Chandra (ACIS) X-ray (X-ray) 826.7 pm
Spectrum_xray1
Red
Green
Blue
Pseudocolor
Chandra_95_1280
×
ID
95
Subject Category
Subject Name
Perseus Cluster, A426
Credits
NASA/CXC/IoA/A.Fabian et al.
Release Date
2003-09-01
Lightyears
250,000,000
Redshift
250,000,000
Reference Url
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2003/perseus/
Type
Collage
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
z=0.0183
Facility
Chandra, Chandra, Chandra, Chandra
Instrument
ACIS, ACIS, ACIS, ACIS
Color Assignment
Red, Green, Blue, Pseudocolor
Band
X-ray, X-ray, X-ray, X-ray
Bandpass
Soft X-ray, Medium X-ray, Hard X-ray, X-ray
Central Wavelength
1.37916666666667, 0.4965, 0.236428571428571, 0.8267
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
49.9509116, 41.5112571
Reference Dimension
Reference Pixel
Scale
Rotation
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Position
FITS Header
Notes
WCS retrieved using CXCs PinpointWCS
Creator (Curator)
Chandra X-ray Observatory
URL
http://chandra.harvard.edu
Name
Chandra X-ray Observatory Center
Email
cxcpub@cfa.harvard.edu
Telephone
617.496.7941
Address
60 Garden St.
City
Cambridge
State/Province
MA
Postal Code
02138
Country
USA
Rights
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/image_use.html
Publisher
Chandra X-Ray Center
Publisher ID
chandra
Resource ID
perseus_xray.tif
Metadata Date
2024-02-01T16:05:33-05:00
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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Universescalefull
250,000,000 light years

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