Radio Galaxy 3C31
November 4, 2003
This image shows the radio morphology of the radio galaxy 3C31 (NGC 383), the dominant galaxy of a prominant chain of galaxies. This system is a powerful radio source, with conical inner jets developing into distorted plumes, which stretch to an incredible distance of 300 kpc from the center of the galaxy (92,000 light years, for a Hubble constant of 100 km/s/Mpc). The radio emission is from relativistic streams of high energy particles generated by the radio source in the center of the radio galaxy. Astronomers believe that the jets are fueled by material accreting onto a super-massive black hole. The high energy particles are shot into extragalactic space at speeds approaching the speed of light, where they eventually balloon into massive radio lobes.
Topics: Environment, Lenticular galaxies, Radio galaxy, Galaxy, high-energy particles, Centaurus A, Virgo constellation, Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, Spiral galaxies