Re: [thefixedstars] Yahoo! News Story - Monster magnets support lovely space lace pattern - Yahoo! News
--- On Thu, 8/21/08, Mark Holmes <mahtezcatpoc@...> wrote:
From: Mark Holmes <mahtezcatpoc@...>
Subject: [thefixedstars] Yahoo! News Story - Monster magnets support lovely space lace pattern - Yahoo! News
Date: Thursday, August 21, 2008, 12:18 PM
Mark Holmes (mahtezcatpoc@ yahoo.com) has sent you a news article.
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Monster magnets support lovely space lace pattern - Yahoo! News
http://news. yahoo.com/ s/nm/20080820/ sc_nm/space_ magnet_dc
Monster magnets support lovely space lace pattern
Wed Aug 20, 7:40 PM ET
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Giant magnetic tentacles are the force that keeps a lacy pattern of glowing gas filaments in the giant elliptical galaxy NGC 1275 from evaporating in the surrounding hot gas or collapsing under the weight of their own gravity, British astronomers said on Wednesday.
The discovery, courtesy of images captured by NASA'S Hubble Space Telescope, helps explain how this delicate pattern has held up for more than 100 million years, and may prove useful in understanding similar structures in even more distant galaxies, they said.
NGC 1275 is one of the closest giant elliptical galaxies and lies at the center of the Perseus Cluster of galaxies some 250 million light years from Earth. A light year is the distance light travels in one year, or about 6 trillion miles.
At its core is a massive black hole that spews out radio-wave emitting material into the surrounding cluster of gas. As the black hole belches out jets of supercharged particles, it drags along cold gas from the galaxy's core and these trails form the tendrils -- just 200 light-years wide -- that make up the galaxy's decorative pattern.
A team of astronomers led by Andy Fabian from the University of Cambridge think they know how these delicate filaments stay intact.
Using color images from Hubble, Fabian and colleagues detected underlying magnetic fields that hold the whole thing together.
"We can see that the magnetic fields are crucial for these complex filaments -- both for their survival and for their integrity," Fabian, who reported his findings in the journal Nature, said in a statement.
The new images also showed that the thinner, more fragile filaments were held in place by stronger magnetic fields.
Images of NGC 1275 can be found at: http://hubblesite.org/news/2008/28