An astonishing image of the distant Centaurus A galaxy was captured by the Dark Energy Camera, an instrument mounted on the 4-meter Víctor M. Blanco telescope at the Inter-American Observatory at Cerro Tololo in Chile.
Centaurus A is located over 12 million light years from Earth in the constellation Centauri (the Centaur) and is a huge active galaxy. One of its strangest features is the jets of matter thrown by the supermassive black hole in its center which flow with such force that the jets exceed the limits of the galaxy itself, and which will be the target of future research of the James Webb Space Telescope.
“The radio telescopes reveal a colossal jet of matter springing from the heart of the galaxy,” writes the National Science Foundation in its publication of the image. “This jet is accelerated to almost half the speed of light by a supermassive black hole at the center of Centaurus A, and its light emissions at radio wavelengths make this galaxy one of the most important radio sources. In fact, in July 2021, the Event Horizon telescope produced an image of a jet launched from the Centaurus A black hole, which weighs 55 million times the mass of the sun.
The dark energy camera that captured this image was one of the main instruments used in the Dark Energy Survey, a large-scale astronomical study that scans huge portions of the sky in an attempt to unravel the mysteries of dark energy. As part of this investigation, researchers earlier this year published the most accurate map to date of dark matter in the universe, located by analyzing the movements of distant objects and galaxies and identifying gravitational effects. dark matter.
With the first round of observations for the Dark Energy Survey completed, the dark energy camera is now being used for a series of science projects, including capturing stunning images like that of Centaurus A.
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