NGC 1275 multi-wavelength composite
The behemoth galaxy NGC 1275, also known as Perseus A, lies at the centre of the Perseus Galaxy Cluster. By combining multi-wavelength images into this single composite, the dynamics of the galaxy become visible. Detail and structure from observations at optical, radio and X-ray wavelengths have been combined for an aesthetically pleasing image which shows the violent events in the galaxy's heart.
NGC 1275 is an active galaxy well-known for its radio source (Perseus A) and is a strong emitter of X-rays due to the presence of the supermassive black hole in its centre.
The Hubble data from the Advanced Camera for Surveys used here covers visible-light wavelengths and is shown in the red, green and blue channels. Radio data are from NRAO's Very Large Array at 0.91 m. Chandra data from the Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer covers X-ray wavelengths from 0.1771 to 4.133 nm (0.3-7 keV).
In this composite image, dust lanes, star-forming regions, hydrogen filaments, foreground stars, and background galaxies are contributions from the Hubble optical data. The X-ray data contributes to the soft violet shells around the outside of the centre. The two pinkish lobes extending from the centre of the galaxy are from radio emission. The radio jets from the black hole fill the X-ray cavities.
Credit: NASA, ESA, NRAO and L. Frattare (STScI). Science Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/IoA/A.Fabian et al.; Radio: NRAO/VLA/G. Taylor; Optical: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and A. Fabian (Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, UK)