One of the strange neighbors of Milky Way is Centaur A, a distinctive galaxy 12 million light-years away. It is one of our nearest neighboring.
with an active supermassive black hole at its center. Consequently, his gaze is overly pleasing; Of course only with telescopes.
Recently, observations made by one of the instruments in Chile, the Dark Energy Camera (DECam), gave Centaur A a new, glorious view. The excellent details in the photo show some of the features that make this galaxy so interesting.
From us this galaxy is seen sideways, which is why we do not see it directly at its center. In addition, the Centaur A is full of dust, which it has in the form of dark, thick stripes on the outside. Its disk and magnetic fields are also distorted. Such features point to a brutal past – a collision with another galaxy that left Centaur A with its own footprint.
This great collision had other effects as well. The galactic collision ignited the star-forming process, which continues to this day; In the new photo, this dazzling red hydrogen clouds and baby star are seen in the form of blue lights, around thick stripes of dust.
Centaur A has a mass of 55 million solar masses in its supermassive black hole and has quite interesting features. This black hole actively absorbs matter and throws giant cannons thousands of light-years from the poles.
These cannons do not emerge from the black hole themselves. Matter flows into a massive object in a vortex like water in a drainage well – in a black hole, matter falls from the inside edge of this thick disk.
However, the horizon of black hole events is not crossed by all matter; According to scientists, a certain part of it accelerates along the lines of the magnetic field, outside the black hole, in the direction of the poles, from where it emits very quickly, a significant percentage of the speed of light in the form of a plasma cannon.
Both huge cannons of Centaur A’s plasma will explode in intergalactic space and generate emissions that emit radio waves. Each of these discharges is nearly a million light-years long. Since this galaxy is quite close to us, its galaxies are very bright and a brilliant “laboratory” to study the action of these cannons.
In early 2021, they were the target of collaboration on the event horizon telescope. As a result, scientists have taken the most detailed photos of these cannons to date.
Centaur A is hiding something else interesting. In its orbital plane, it has a whole team of dwarf galaxies, much like the planets around the sun. The models predict that dwarf galaxies should orbit this massive galaxy in every way possible and not in any orderly manner. Centaur A is the first galaxy beyond the local group with which we have observed dwarf satellite galaxies.
In the local group, the companion dwarf galaxies are Milky Way and Andromeda.
This in turn indicates that we have more in common with Centaur A than we imagined. Deer Leap also has a cruel past and a crooked disc. Who knows, maybe in these minutes maybe someone from Centaur A is watching us and taking photos of our galaxy.