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3C438 Animations
Click for high-resolution animation
Images of 3C438 and Surrounding Galaxy Cluster
Quicktime MPEG
This sequence of images shows how 3c438, the galaxy at the center of this cluster, looks in various types of light. The X-ray image shows a much different structure from the optical image, including a massive arc-like structure to the lower left. There are also hints of a cavity in the hot gas to the upper left. Jets seen in the radio image do not point in the same directions as the cavity structure, adding more mysteries about this system.
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(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/R.P.Kraft; Optical: Pal.Obs. DSS; Radio: NRAO/VLA/A.H.Bridle & R.G.Strom)
Merging Galaxy Clusters
Animation of Galaxy Cluster Merger
Quicktime MPEG
Astronomers think the most likely explanation for what is seen in 3C438 was the powerful collision of two massive galaxy clusters. Such clusters are among the largest structures in the Universe. If two clusters collided at high speeds, it would unleash an enormous amount of energy as Chandra's X-ray data indicates.
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Animation: NASA/CXC/A.Hobart
Animation of Eruption from Supermassive Black Hole
Animation of Black Hole Eruption
Quicktime MPEG
A possible detection of a cavity in the hot gas around 3C438, seen by Chandra, would require a tremendous amount of energy to produce. This animation shows how astronomers think such X-ray cavities are generated. When matter funnels into a supermassive black hole, some of the matter is expelled in a high-speed jet. Such jets would carve space into the hot gas, creating cavities.
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(Animation: NASA/CXC/A.Hobart)
View Still Images of Black Hole Eruption

Return to 3C438 (30 May 07)