Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2002 February 8
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

PKS 1127-145: Quasar View
Credit: A. Siemiginowska (CfA) & J. Bechtold (U. Arizona), et al., NASA

Explanation: The quasar known as PKS 1127-145 lies ten billion light-years from our fair planet. A Hubble Space Telescope view in the left panel shows this quasar along with other galaxies as they appear in optical light. The quasar itself is the brightest object in the lower right corner. In the right panel is a Chandra Observatory x-ray picture, exactly corresponding to the Hubble field. While the more ordinary galaxies are not seen in the Chandra image, a striking jet, nearly a million of light-years long, emerges from the quasar to dominate the x-ray view. Bright in both optical and x-ray light, the quasar is thought to harbor a supermassive black hole which powers the jet and makes PKS 1127-145 visible across the spectrum -- a beacon from the distant cosmos.

Tomorrow's picture: cosmic weekend

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
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& Michigan Tech. U.