Images by Date
Images by Category
Solar System
White Dwarfs
Neutron Stars
Black Holes
Milky Way Galaxy
Normal Galaxies
Galaxy Clusters
Cosmology/Deep Field
Images by Interest
Space Scoop for Kids
Sky Map
Photo Blog
Top Rated Images
Image Handouts
Fits Files
Image Tutorials
Photo Album Tutorial
False Color
Cosmic Distance
Look-Back Time
Scale & Distance
Angular Measurement
Images & Processing
Image Use Policy
Web Shortcuts
Chandra Blog
RSS Feed
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: NASA's Chandra Identifies an Underachieving Black Hole
Download Image

More Information

More Images
Multi-Wavelength Comparison of 3C273
(Credit: NASA/STScI X-ray: NASA/CXC Radio: MERLIN)

More Releases
(20 Jun 06)

Related Images
NGC 1068
NGC 1068
(09 Jul 03)
PKS 1127-145
PKS 1127-145
(06 Feb 02)
Chandra Observes Cosmic Traffic Pile-Up In Energetic Quasar Jet

Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO/H.Marshall et al.

This Chandra image shows important new details in the powerful jet shooting from the quasar 3C273, providing an X-ray view into the area between 3C273's core and the beginning of the jet.High-powered jets driven from quasars, often at velocities very close to the speed of light, have long been perplexing for scientists. Instead of seeing a smooth stream of material driven from the core of the quasar, most optical, radio, and earlier X-ray observations have revealed inconsistent, "lumpy" clouds of gas. The recent Chandra data show a continuous X-ray flow in 3C273 from the core to the jet, which may reveal insight on the physical processes that power these jets. Scientists would like to learn why matter is violently ejected from the quasar's core, then appears to suddenly slow down.

The energy emitted from the jet in 3C273 probably comes from gas that falls toward a supermassive black hole at the center of the quasar, but is redirected by strong electromagnetic fields into a collimated jet. While the black hole itself is not observed directly, scientists can discern properties of the black hole by studying the jet. The formation of the jet from the matter that falls into the black hole is a process that remains poorly understood.

Fast Facts for 3C273:
Credit  NASA/CXC/SAO/H.Marshall et al.
Scale  Image is 24 arcsec across.
Category  Quasars & Active Galaxies
Coordinates (J2000)  RA 12h 29m 06.70s | Dec +02° 03´ 08.60"
Constellation  Virgo
Observation Time  0 hours
Color Code  Intensity
Instrument  HRC
Distance Estimate  3 billion light years
Release Date  November 06, 2000