The Evolving Universe

Smithsonian Institution

Perseus A Galaxy • NGC 1275

NGC1275 image


Observers: Andy Fabian, Greg Taylor

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Perseus A is home to an active supermassive black hole - one that is consuming and spewing massive amounts of matter at the galaxy's center. Astronomers combine images taken by different types of telescopes to make visible the dynamics of these supermassive black holes. Large violet shells depicting high energy X-ray radiation surround pink lobes from the low energy radio range in this image showing the internal violence at the heart of Perseus A.

  • Distance from Earth: 331 million light years
  • Size: 150,000 light years
  • Telescope: Chandra/Hubble/VLA
  • Light: X-ray (violet), radio (pink), visible (red/green/blue)