Chandra Looks Over a Cosmic Four-Leaf Clover

Chandra_223_1024

chandra_223 July 6th, 2004

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Penn State/G.Chartas et al; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss

The Cloverleaf quasar is a single object whose image has been reproduced four times in a cloverleaf-like arrangement through a process known as gravitational lensing. The gravitational field of one or more foreground galaxies has bent and magnified the light from the quasar to produce the multiple images. The foreground galaxies are too faint to be seen in these images. Note that the image on the lower right (A) is much brighter in X-rays than optical light. This is due to an effect called gravitational microlensing, wherein a star or binary star system in one of the intervening galaxies passes directly in front of the small, X-ray producing region around the quasar's supermassive black hole. The optical light comes from a much larger region, so it is not magnified by the passing star or stars. X-ray microlensing gives astronomers a new and extremely precise probe of the gas flow around the supermassive black hole.

Image Source: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2004/h1413/

Curator: Chandra X-ray Observatory, Cambridge, MA, USA

Image Use Policy: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/image_use.html

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Image Details

Image Type
Artwork
Object Name
Cloverleaf Quasar
Subject - Distant Universe
Galaxy > Activity > AGN > Quasar
Cosmology > Phenomenon > Lensing

Distance

Universescale3
11,000,000,000 light years

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 14h 15m 46.2s
DEC = 64° 46’ 23.0”
Constellation
Draco
Chandra_223_1280
×
ID
223
Subject Category
D.5.3.2.1   D.6.2.1  
Subject Name
Cloverleaf Quasar
Credits
X-ray: NASA/CXC/Penn State/G.Chartas et al; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss
Release Date
2004-07-06
Lightyears
11,000,000,000
Redshift
2.55
Reference Url
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2004/h1413/
Type
Artwork
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Instrument
Color Assignment
Band
Bandpass
Central Wavelength
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
213.9425, 64.7730603344
Reference Dimension
Reference Pixel
Scale
Rotation
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Position
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
Chandra X-ray Observatory
URL
http://chandra.harvard.edu
Name
Chandra X-ray Observatory Center
Email
cxcpub@cfa.harvard.edu
Telephone
617.496.7941
Address
60 Garden St.
City
Cambridge
State/Province
MA
Postal Code
02138
Country
USA
Rights
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/image_use.html
Publisher
Chandra X-ray Observatory Center
Publisher ID
chandra
Resource ID
h1413_ill_inset.tif
Metadata Date
2013-09-20T11:40:21-04:00
Metadata Version
1.2
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Universescalefull
11,000,000,000 light years