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False-col. radio map of active galaxy Centaurus A

False-col. radio map of active galaxy Centaurus A

R890/0003

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Credit

B.COOPER & D.PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. B.COOPER & D.PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.

Caption

Radio map of active galaxy Centaurus A. Located 16 million light years away, Centaurus A has two huge radio-emitting lobes which reach 2.5 million light years above & below the galaxy itself. In this contour map, the galaxy (the most intense source of radio-emission) is coloured pink & red. The two radio lobes are produced by fast electrons which stream out from the galaxy & generate elongated clouds of magnetic field. These clouds trap the electrons & cause them to emit synchrotron radiation in the form of radio waves. The data for the map was obtained by the Parkes radio telescope, Australia, at a wavelength of 21cm.

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