A team of researchers led by PhD student Roland Timmerman from the University of Leiden in the Netherlands has obtained a beautiful image of the galaxy cluster in the constellation Perseus. It was created using data from the LOFAR radio telescope and the Chandra space observatory, which explores space in the X-ray range.
Such a composite image provides much more information about the huge amount of energy released around supermassive black holes in such clusters. It was extremely difficult to study these processes, but a new method of combining measurements from a radio telescope with data from an X-ray observatory allows us to look at them in a new way.
This combination gives a much better idea of what’s going on. It’s a cliché, but the sum here is indeed greater than all of its parts. Chandra and LOFAR alone can make a pretty reasonable guess about the amount of energy a black hole is putting into a cluster environment, but together they are much stronger.
The scientist notes that previously such a combination of measurements was not possible, since there were no radio images available with sufficient quality to match the X-ray images. But now there are LOFAR antenna stations all over Europe, and this allows you to increase the detail of the original data.
Now astronomers are busy creating composite images of other clusters of galaxies. Using the underlying data, they hope to better understand how galaxies interact with their environment in the early universe.
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