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TOPIC: Centaurus A
Apr 21 23:36 2009
RE: Centaurus A
A survey by the Chandra X-ray observatory has revealed in detail, for the first time, the effects of a shock wave blasted through a galaxy by powerful jets of plasma emanating from a supermassive black hole at the galactic core. The
observations of Centaurus A
, the nearest galaxy that contains these jets, have enabled astronomers to revise dramatically their picture of how jets affect the galaxies in which they live. The results will be presented on Wednesday 22nd April at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science in Hatfield by Dr Judith Croston of the University of Hertfordshire.
Apr 4 14:35 2009
La collaboration H.E.S.S. (High Energy Stereoscopic System), une équipe internationale essentiellement européenne d'astrophysiciens, a découvert une émission gamma aux très hautes énergies (THE; E>100 GeV) en provenance de Centaurus A, une des galaxies actives les plus proches, et le plus proche émetteur radio extragalactique puissant. Cette découverte démontre la présence d'accélération de particules à de telles énergies dans cette source et suggère que l'émission gamma aux très hautes énergies est un phénomène commun des noyaux actifs de galaxies.
Jan 28 13:38 2009
Black hole outflows from Centaurus A detected with APEX
Astronomers have a new insight into the active galaxy Centaurus A (NGC 5128), as the jets and lobes emanating from the central black hole have been imaged at submillimetre wavelengths for the first time. The new data, from the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (
) telescope in Chile, which is operated by ESO, have been combined with visible and X-ray wavelengths to produce this striking new image.
Jan 10 16:37 2008
Astronomers studying a nearby galaxy with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have detected a rare type of star system with a black hole that has begun glowing with a new X-ray source.
Usually, when astronomers study the galaxy, called Centaurus A, it's the giant X-ray jets emanating from its heart that steal the show, according to Gregory Sivakoff of Ohio State University.
Jan 9 18:53 2008
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Jan 9 18:23 2008
Astronomers studying a nearby galaxy have spied a rare type of star system -- one that contains a black hole that suddenly began glowing brightly with X-rays.
Though this type of star system is supposed to be rare, its the second such system discovered in that galaxy, called Centaurus A.
The discovery suggests that astronomers have more to learn about the lives and deaths of massive stars in galaxies such as our own.
Normally when astronomers study Centaurus A, its the giant X-ray jets emanating from the heart of the galaxy that steal the show. The jets extend from the galaxy for 13,000 light years in different directions.
But when his team studied Centaurus A with NASAs Chandra X-ray Observatory starting in March 2007, they saw a new X-ray source -- much smaller than the X-ray jets, but still glowing brightly. The source wasnt there during the last survey of the galaxy in 2003, but it shined throughout the time of the new observations, from March to May of 2007.
Because it hadnt been seen before, the astronomers classified the object as a transient X-ray source, meaning that the object had been there before 2007, but had only recently brightened enough to stand out.
Gregory Sivakoff, a postdoctoral researcher in astronomy at Ohio State University. discussed the results in a press briefing Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Austin, Texas.
The newly bright object, dubbed CXOU J132518.2-430304, is most likely a binary star system, the researchers concluded. The two stars likely formed at the same time, with one much more massive than the other. The more massive star evolved more quickly, and collapsed to form a black hole. It is now slowly devouring its companion. Such binary systems are thought to be extremely rare.
But this is the second bright, transient X-ray binary system discovered in Centaurus A -- and thats the problem, Sivakoff said.
When we look at other galaxies like Centaurus A, we dont see these bright, transient X-ray binaries. But now weve found two such objects in Centaurus A, and the implication is that we may not understand these objects as well as we thought we did. So right now, our discovery is actually pointing to a puzzle rather than a solution
- Gregory Sivakoff.
Because Centaurus A is near to our galaxy, astronomers have long hoped to use it as a Rosetta stone for studying other galaxies with black holes.
As astronomers piece together an explanation for the existence of the newly-discovered binary system, they may gain a better understanding of how black holes form from massive stars and how binary systems evolve.
These binary systems are signposts of the massive stars that once existed in galaxies like Centaurus A. To understand the massive stars, we must first know how to read the signs
- Gregory Sivakoff.
Sivakoff and Ralph Kraft of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics led the study; their collaborators were from NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, University of Hertfordshire, University of Virginia, University of Bristol, McMaster University, and the University of Birmingham.
Jun 28 11:05 2007
RE: Centaurus A
A Chandra Study of the Lobe/ISM Interactions Around the Inner Radio Lobes of Centaurus A: Constraints on the Temperature Structure and Transport Processes
R. P. Kraft, P. E. J. Nulsen, M. Birkinshaw, D. M. Worrall, R. F. Penna, W. R. Forman, M. J. Hardcastle, C. Jones, S. S. Murray
We present results from deeper Chandra observations of the southwest radio lobe of Centaurus A, first described by Kraft et al. (2003). We find that the sharp X-ray surface brightness discontinuity extends around ~75% of the periphery of the radio lobe, and detect significant temperature jumps in the brightest regions of this discontinuity nearest to the nucleus. This demonstrates that this discontinuity is indeed a strong shock which is the result of an overpressure which has built up in the entire lobe over time. Additionally, we demonstrate that if the mean free path for ions to transfer energy and momentum to the electrons behind the shock is as large as the Spitzer value, the electron and proton temperatures will not have equilibrated along the SW boundary of the radio lobe where the shock is strongest. Thus the proton temperature of the shocked gas could be considerably larger than the observed electron temperature, and the total energy of the outburst correspondingly larger as well. We investigate this using a simple one-dimensional shock model for a two-fluid (proton/electron) plasma. We find that for the thermodynamic parameters of the Cen A shock the electron temperature rises rapidly from ~0.29 keV (the temperature of the ambient ISM) to ~3.5 keV at which point heating from the protons is balanced by adiabatic losses. The proton and electron temperatures do not equilibrate in a timescale less than the age of the lobe. We note that the measured electron temperature of similar features in other nearby powerful radio galaxies in poor environments may considerably underestimate the strength and velocity of the shock.
Aug 25 06:45 2006
The Centaurus Group and the Outer Halo of NGC 5128: Are they Dynamically Connected?
Kristin A. Woodley
NGC 5128, a giant elliptical galaxy only ~ 4 Mpc away, is the dominant member of a galaxy group of over 80 probable members. The Centaurus group provides an excellent sample for a kinematic comparison between the halo of NGC 5128 and its surrounding satellite galaxies. A new study, presented here, shows no kinematic difference in rotation amplitude, rotation axis, and velocity dispersion between the halo of NGC 5128, determined from over ~340 of its globular clusters, and those of the Centaurus group as a whole. These results suggest NGC 5128 could be behaving in part as the inner component to the galaxy group, and could have begun as a large initial seed galaxy, gradually built up by minor mergers and satellite accretions, consistent with simple cold dark matter models. The mass and mass-to-light ratios in the B-band, corrected for projection effects, are determined to be (1.3 ±0.5) X 10^12 solar masses and 52 ±22 solar masses/solar luminosity for NGC 5128 out to a galactocentric radius of 45 kpc, and (9.2 ±3.0) x 10^12 solar masses and 153 ±50 solar masses/solar luminosity for the Centaurus group, consistent with previous studies.
Aug 21 10:21 2006
Spitzer Observations of Centaurus A: Infrared Synchrotron Emission from the Northern Lobe
M. H. Brookes, C. R. Lawrence, J. Keene, D. Stern, V. Gorijan, M. Werner, V. Charmandaris
Researchers present measurements obtained with the Spitzer Space Telescope in five bands from 3.6-24 microns of the northern inner radio lobe of Centaurus A, the nearest powerful radio galaxy. They show that this emission is synchrotron in origin. Comparison with ultraviolet observations from GALEX shows that diffuse ultraviolet emission exists in a smaller region than the infrared but also coincides with the radio jet. They discuss the possibility, that synchrotron emission is responsible for the ultraviolet emission and conclude that further data are required to confirm this.
May 31 13:52 2006
The Discovery of Cepheids and a Distance to NGC 5128
Laura Ferrarese (NRC/HIA), Jeremy R. Mould (NOAO), Peter B. Stetson (NRC/HIA), John L. Tonry (IfA/UH), John P. Blakeslee (WSU), Edward A. Ajhar (St. Thomas Univ.)
Researchers discuss a new distance to
(Centaurus A) based on Cepheid variables observed with the Hubble Space Telescope. Twelve F555W (V) and six F814W (I) epochs of cosmic-ray-split Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 observations were obtained. A total of 56 bona-fide Cepheids were discovered, with periods ranging from 5 to ~50 days; five of these are likely Population II Cepheids of the W Virginis class, associated with the bulge or halo of NGC 5128. Based on the period and V and I-band luminosities of a sub-sample of 42 classical (Pop I) Cepheids, and adopting a Large Magellanic Cloud distance modulus and extinction of 18.50 ±0.10 mag and E(B-V)=0.10 mag, respectively, the true reddening-corrected distance modulus to NGC 5128 is mu_0 = 27.67 ±0.12 (random) ±0.16 (systematic) mag, corresponding to a distance of 3.42 ±0.18 (random) ±0.25 (systematic) Mpc.
The random uncertainty in the distance is dominated by the error on the assumed value for the ratio of total to selective absorption, R_V, in NGC 5128, and by the possible metallicity dependence of the Cepheid Period-Luminosity relation at V and I. This represent the first determination of a Cepheid distance to an early-type galaxy.
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