Radio image of large galaxy reveals huge plasma jets

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The galaxy at the image center, Hercules A, appears to be a relatively normal elliptical galaxy in visible light. When imaged in radio waves, however, tremendous plasma jets over one million light years long appear.

Image by: NASA, ESA, S. Baum & C. O'Dea (RIT), R. Perley and W. Cotton (NRAO/AUI/NSF), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Detailed analyses indicate that the central galaxy, also known as 3C 348, is actually over 1,000 times more massive than our Milky Way Galaxy, and the central black hole is nearly 1,000 times more massive than the black hole at our Milky Way’s center.

Pictured above is a visible light image obtained by the Earth-orbiting Hubble Space Telescope superposed with a radio image taken by the recently upgraded Very Large Array (VLA) of radio telescopes in New Mexico, USA.

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