Cygnus A

Image
Minimum credit line: Image courtesy of NRAO/AUI (for details, see Image Use Policy).

About this Image

The radio source Cygnus A is produced in a galaxy some 600 million light-years away. The radio waves are coming from electrons propelled at nearly the speed of light through a long, thin "jet" at the core of the galaxy and deposited in giant "radio lobes." It is here where the speeding electrons are trapped by the magnetic field around the galaxy to produce radio waves much like the Van Allen radiation belts around the Earth. Where did all the electrons come from? From the bright, small radio component in the center of the galaxy -- the location of a black hole.

Investigator(s):  R. Perley, C. Carilli & J. Dreher

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Technical Data

    Telescope VLA 
    Date of Observation 1983-02-01 
    Type of Observation Continuum Observations 
    Band C 
    Wavelength 6cm 
    Frequency 5 GHz 
    Center of Image RA: 19:59:28.45, Dec: 40:44:2.00  
    Field of View 0.0383 x 0.0217 degrees  
    Technical Caption 5 GHz, 0.5'' resolution. The galaxy is at a redshift of 0.057 (distance = 230 Mpc = 760 Mly).  

  • Astronomical database entries for Cygnus A
    • Query NED for images of Cygnus A
    • Query SIMBAD for more Cygnus A data

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