Blazing Black Holes Spotted in Spiral Beauty

Nustar_nustar130107a_500

nustar_nustar130107a January 7th, 2013

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This new view of spiral galaxy IC 342, also known as Caldwell 5, includes data from NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR. High-energy X-ray data from NuSTAR have been translated to the color magenta, and superimposed on a visible-light view highlighting the galaxy and its star-studded arms. NuSTAR is the first orbiting telescope to take focused pictures of the cosmos in high-energy X-ray light; previous observations of this same galaxy taken at similar wavelengths blurred the entire object into one pixel.

The two magenta spots are blazing black holes first detected at lower-energy X-ray wavelengths by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. With NuSTAR's complementary data, astronomers can start to home in on the black holes' mysterious properties. The black holes appear much brighter than typical stellar-mass black holes, such as those that pepper our own galaxy, yet they cannot be supermassive black holes or they would have sunk to the galaxy's center. Instead, they may be intermediate in mass, or there may be something else going on to explain their extremely energetic state. NuSTAR will help solve this puzzle.

IC 342 lies 7 million light-years away in the Camelopardalis constellation. The outer edges of the galaxy cannot be seen in this view.

This image shows NuSTAR X-ray data taken at 10 to 35 kiloelectron volts.

The visible-light image is from the Digitized Sky Survey.

Image Source: /image/nustar/nustar130107a

Curator: NuSTAR: Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, Pasadena, CA

Image Use Policy: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/imagepolicy/

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
IC 342
Subject - Local Universe
Galaxy » Type » Spiral
Galaxy » Type » Barred

Distance

Universescale2
10,700,000 light years
Nustar_nustar130107a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 3h 46m 48.5s
DEC = 68° 5’ 46.9”
Orientation
North is up
Field of View
28.3 x 28.3 arcminutes
Constellation
Camelopardalis

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_magenta NuSTAR X-ray 56.5 pm
Arrow_left_orange DSS Optical (R-band) 700.0 nm
Arrow_left_blue DSS Optical (B-band) 440.0 nm
Spectrum_xray1w
Arrow_top_magenta
Arrow_top_orange
Arrow_top_blue
Nustar_nustar130107a_1280
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ID
nustar130107a
Subject Category
C.5.1.1   C.5.1.2  
Subject Name
IC 342
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech
Lightyears
10,700,000
Redshift
0.000103
Reference Url
/image/nustar/nustar130107a
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
NuSTAR, DSS, DSS
Instrument
Color Assignment
Magenta, Orange, Blue
Band
X-ray, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
-, R-band, B-band
Central Wavelength
0.0564545, 700, 440
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
Reference Value
56.702090, 68.096370
Reference Dimension
1700, 1700
Reference Pixel
850.5, 850.5
Scale
-2.77778000000000e-04, 2.77778000000000e-04
Rotation
0
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
NuSTAR: Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array
URL
http://www.nustar.caltech.edu
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
City
Pasadena
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
Country
Rights
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/imagepolicy/
Publisher
Publisher ID
nustar
Resource ID
Resource URL
/image/nustar/nustar130107a
Related Resources
Metadata Date
2014-07-16 17:51:48 -0700
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

 

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Universescalefull
10,700,000 light years