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160622-N-N0204-001.JPG Photo By: Daniel Parry

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Lurking in the heart of the galaxy cluster Abell 2597, located nearly one-billion light years from Earth in the constellation Aquarius, astronomers track several massive gas clouds that are raining down on the central supermassive black hole. The complex cosmic weather, as illustrated in this artists’s concept, includes condensed clouds of cold molecular gas in the galaxy core that cast shadows seen in the ALMA observations. These clouds condense out of the surrounding hot intracluster medium and fuel ‘cold, chaotic’ accretion (or feeding) of the central supermassive black hole. This fuel leads to massive outbursts that drive the powerful radio jets out into the surrounding medium. Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF; Dana Berry/SkyWorks; ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO) RELEASED


This photograph is considered public domain and has been cleared for release. If you would like to republish please give the photographer appropriate credit.

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