(This press release from August
7, 1995, is reproduced courtesy of the Space Telescope Science Institute.)
These Hubble Space Telescope images, combined with radio maps
produced by the Very Large Array Radio Interferometer (blue
contour lines), show surprisingly varied and intricate structures
of gas and stars that suggest the mechanisms powering radio
galaxies are more complex than thought previously. The bizarre,
never before seen detail may be a combination of light from
massive star forming regions, small satellite dwarf galaxies, and
bow shocks caused by jets of hot gas blasted out of the galaxies
cores by suspected black holes.
[LEFT] - 3C265. Hubble resolves numerous bright star clusters
or dwarf satellite galaxies surrounding a bright central
compact structure. The line corresponds to the axis of the
galaxys radio emissions, which unlike other radio galaxies, is
in a different direction from the optical region. The star
forming regions might result from a collision between galaxies.
The jet that produces the radio emissions might have further
intensified star formation.
[CENTER] - 3C324. A number of small interacting components are
distributed roughly along the radio axis in this source.
Comparison of the Hubble image with that from the United Kingdom
Infrared Telescope suggests that the central regions of this
galaxy are obscured by a large dust lane.
[RIGHT] - 3C368. One of the best studied radio galaxies, this
image is composed of a very smooth cigar-shaped emission region
closely aligned with the radio axis, upon which is superimposed a
string of bright knots that might be stars or dust. This suggests
that a jet of high speed gas, presumably ejected from a black
hole at the core of the galaxy, might be triggering star
formation along its path.
Credit: M. Longair (Cambridge University, England), NASA, and