CHANDRA X-RAY OBSERVATORY / NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHANDRA X-RAY OBSERVATORY / NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Galactic jet. Coloured X-ray image of a galactic jet in the radio galaxy Pictor A. The jet extends from the hot core of the galaxy (left) toward a bright spot at right. The X-ray light comes from energetic electrons spiralling around magnetic field lines in the jet, a process known as synchrotron radiation. The electrons come from gas surrounding a supermassive black hole at the galaxy's core. The bright spot is where the electrons collide with interstellar gas. The distance from core to bright spot is about 800 thousand light years. This image was made by the Chandra X-ray Observatory in Earth orbit.
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