PARIS, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- The European Space Agency says the Hubble Space Telescope has detailed giant, but delicate, filaments shaped by a strong magnetic field in galaxy NGC 1275.
ESA astronomers said the filaments "are the only visible-light manifestation of the intricate relationship between the black hole hosted at the center of the galaxy and the surrounding cluster gas." The scientists said the filaments provide important clues about how giant black holes affect their surrounding environment.
NGC 1275 is a giant active elliptical galaxy located at the center of the Perseus Cluster of galaxies. The supermassive black hole at its core blows "bubbles" of radio-wave emitting material into the surrounding cluster gas, the ESA said, noting the galaxy's "most spectacular feature is the lacy filigree of gaseous filaments reaching out beyond the galaxy into the multi-million degree X-ray emitting gas that fills the cluster."
A study detailing Hubble's observations, led by Andy Fabian from the University of Cambridge, appears in the current issue of the journal Nature
The Hubble Space Telescope is a cooperative project of the U.S. and European space agencies.