The Chandra X-Ray Observatory recently released four of the most stunning images of galaxies we've ever seen — but these mind-blowing pictures couldn't have come into existence without the help of amateur astronomers and photographers.
Centaurus A is an active galaxy, meaning it gives off extraordinary amounts of radiation, most likely the result of a supermassive black hole. Somewhere inside these gas clouds and dust lanes, that black hole is creating unimaginable cosmic chaos.
The galaxy in this picture is Centaurus A, but it's being upstaged in its own cosmic neighborhood. Its central black hole is emitting jets that are a million light-years long...and this is our best look yet at this mysterious phenomenon.
This strange purple plume that dwarfs the Moon is what we'd see if our eyes could perceive radio waves. These jets, over a million light-years long, are spewing from the massive black hole in the Centaurus A galaxy.
We just snapped our best photo yet of dark matter, but we still don't know just what it is. Now we might have a way to (literally) shed some light on dark matter...with an assist from super-massive black holes.
Centaurus A not only has a terrifying name, it's our nearest "giant galaxy," only 13 million light years away. Its superluminous central area comes from a supermassive black hole, and it's already swallowing a neighboring spiral galaxy. How long before it comes and pwns us?