Field of Science


X-ray, Optical & Infrared Images of Galaxies IC 4970 & NGC 6872

Composite Image of NGC 6872 and IC_4970
These images of a collision between two galaxies, NGC 6872 and IC 4970, contain X-rays from Chandra (purple), infrared data from Spitzer (red), and optical data from the Very Large Telescope (red, green and blue.) When combined these data reveal that IC 4970, the small galaxy at the top of the image, is feeding its supermassive black hole by drawing cold gas from its partner galaxy, the spiral NGC 6872. These two galaxies are in the process of merging, allowing the reservoir of fuel to be supplied to the growing black hole... -- Full Press Release
Chandra's X-ray Data of NGC 6872 and IC 4970Spitzer's Infrared Data of NGC 6872 and IC 4970The Very Large Telescope's Optical Data of NGC 6872 and IC 4970Composite Image of NGC 6872 and IC 4970 with Labeles
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/M.Machacek; Optical: ESO/VLT; Infrared: NASA/JPL/Caltech)