Monday 29 October 2012

LOFAR observations of Virgo A

Today, ASTRON announced some stunning new results of the radio galaxy Virgo A (also referred to as Vir A, M87, etc.) along with a great image taken by the International LOFAR Telescope:

This false colour image shows the galaxy M87. Optical light is shown in white/blue (Credits: SDSS), the radio emission in yellow/orange (LOFAR). At the centre, the radio emission has a very high surface brightness, showing where the jet powered by the supermassive black hole is located. Credits: Francesco de Gasperin, on behalf of the LOFAR collaboration.

From their press release...
Using a brand-new radio telescope, astronomers have produced one of the best images ever made at the lowest frequencies of giant bubbles produced by a super-massive black hole. The observations were performed at frequencies ranging from 20 to 160 MHz which are normally used for communications by {aeroplane} pilots. The picture shows what looks like a giant balloon filled with radio emitting plasma, which exceeds the size of an entire galaxy.
Refer to the full press-release in the links section below for details.


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