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NASA's Chandra Finds Evidence for Quasar Ignition
03.23.06
Artist concept depicts a quasar in the center of a galaxy that is expelling gas at high speeds. Inset contains a Chandra X-ray image of quasar 4C37.43.

An artist's illustration depicts a quasar in the center of a galaxy that has turned on and is expelling gas at high speeds in a galactic superwind. Clouds of hot, X-ray producing gas detected by Chandra around the quasars 4C37.43 (shown in the inset) and 3C249.1, provide strong evidence for such superwinds.

The X-ray features seen at five, six, ten and eleven o'clock in the 4C37.43 image are located tens of thousands of light years from the central supermassive black hole that powers the quasar. They are likely due to shock waves in the superwind.

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Image credit: Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss; X-ray inset: NASA/CXC/U.Hawaii/A.Stockton et al.