Black Holes of the Circinus Galaxy

Nustar_nustar131126b_500

nustar_nustar131126b November 26th, 2013

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The magenta spots in this image show two black holes in the Circinus galaxy: the supermassive black hole at its heart, and a smaller one closer to the edge that belongs to a class called ultraluminous X-ray sources, or ULXs. The magenta X-ray data come from NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescopic Array, and are overlaid on a visible/infrared image from the Digitized Sky Survey.

ULXs consist of black holes actively accreting, or feeding, off material drawn in from a partner star. Astronomers are trying to figure out why ULXs shine so brightly with X-rays.

The ULX was spotted serendipitously by NuSTAR, which sees high-energy X-ray light. Further observations with other telescopes, combined with NuSTAR's data, revealed that the black hole is about 100 times the mass of our sun.

The Circinus galaxy is located 13 million light-years from Earth in the Circinus constellation.

Image Source: /image/nustar/nustar131126b

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

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

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Circinus Galaxy ESO 97-G13
Subject - Local Universe
Galaxy » Type » Spiral
Galaxy » Type » Barred
Galaxy » Activity » AGN » Seyfert

Distance

Universescale2
13,000,000 light years
Nustar_nustar131126b_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 14h 13m 10.0s
DEC = -65° 20’ 21.2”
Orientation
North is 3.0° CCW
Field of View
18.0 x 18.0 arcminutes
Constellation
Circinus

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_magenta NuSTAR X-ray 248.0 pm
Arrow_left_cyan DSS Optical (B-band) 440.0 nm
Arrow_left_orange DSS Optical (R-band) 700.0 nm
Spectrum_xray1
Arrow_top_magenta
Arrow_top_cyan
Arrow_top_orange
Nustar_nustar131126b_1280
×
ID
nustar131126b
Subject Category
C.5.1.1   C.5.1.2   C.5.3.2.2  
Subject Name
Circinus Galaxy, ESO 97-G13
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech
Lightyears
13,000,000
Redshift
0.001448
Reference Url
/image/nustar/nustar131126b
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
NuSTAR, DSS, DSS
Instrument
Color Assignment
Magenta, Cyan, Orange
Band
X-ray, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
-, B-band, R-band
Central Wavelength
0.24797, 440, 700
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
Reference Value
213.29146000000, -65.33922000000
Reference Dimension
1600.00, 1600.00
Reference Pixel
791.21576068854, 792.84012486286
Scale
-0.00018746259, 0.00018746259
Rotation
3.01228490648
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/nustar131126b
Related Resources
Metadata Date
2014-07-16 17:52:38 -0700
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

 

×
Universescalefull
13,000,000 light years