False colour radio image of active galaxy Cygnus A (3C 405) at a wavelength of 2 metres. Cygnus A is a typical radio galaxy with twin jets emanating from its nucleus & forming two extended, radio- emitting lobes. The jets are thought to be collim- mated beams of plasma which form radio hot spots (white) where they collide with the surrounding medium. The colours represent intensity of radio emission, ranging from white (most intense) to dark blue (least intense). This long wavelength image emphasises the ageing electron population in the inner parts of the lobes. The picture was recorded by Jodrell Bank's MERLIN network of radio telescopes in north-west England.
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