Magnetic mystery of NGC 1275 revealed
Here are press materials for the press release of the Nature
support of the optical emission line filaments in NGC 1275,
published on the 21st August 2008. Also
Picture credits should be Fabian et al/ESA/NASA.
The delicate network of filaments surrounding the galaxy NGC 1275 (in
red), and (in blue) star clusters. Strong magnetic fields are able to
contain these filaments, stopping them evaporating in their million
degree surroundings, or from immediately forming stars.
Images of the filaments where the smooth light from the galaxy has been
subtracted away. The centre of the galaxy hosts a giant supermassive
black hole, which blows bubbles of hot gas, dragging the filaments out
Close up of the "blue loop". Stars (in blue) are able to form along
the filaments here (in red), but this is only occurs in some places in
the filament system. Magnetic fields are thought to stop this
The complex structure of part of the filament system seen against the
light of the surrounding galaxy.
The filaments (in red) and the stars (in blue), after the smooth light
from the galaxy has been removed. Stars are formed in some of the
filament system (down to the bottom left), but not most of it. The
streak of stars to the top of the figure are due to another galaxy
colliding with the galaxy cluster.
The massive radio bubbles blown by the central black hole (the diffuse
red blobs) push aside the hot X-ray emitting gas (in blue), dragging
out the filaments behind them (the fine red features).
The filaments (in red) and stars (in blue) after the smooth light from
the galaxy has been removed.
Close up of the stars (in blue) and filaments (in red) in two parts
of the system.
These are other figures taken from the paper.
Comparison of new Hubble image (left) with ground-based image
Close up of the "Horseshoe" filament region. Here the filaments are
marking the flow of the hot multi-million degree intracluster medium
behind a rising bubble.
Comparison of the X-ray emission (green) with the filaments (red). The
X-ray gas is several tens of million degrees hot, but the 1000s of degree filaments
are able to survive in this material. The holes in the X-ray emission
are occupied by the bubbles of relativistic particles blown by the
black hole. Note that there is also gas (plasma) at millions of
degrees and hundreds of degrees with the optical emitting filaments.
Close ups of several different filament regions.
Comparison of width of filaments with the width of stars in the image. The
filaments are wider than the unresolved stars, meaning that we resolve
them and can measure their width.
Chandra X-ray image of the core of the Perseus cluster. The radio
bubbles from the supermassive black hole in the centre of the cluster
displace the X-ray emitting gas, leading to the four cavities in the
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Published 2008 by the Institute of Astronomy X-Ray
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