Public Release: 

An AGN's rendezvous with a radio relic

Tata Institute of Fundamental Research


IMAGE: An eruption from a supermassive black hole has been swept up into the collision between the galaxy clusters Abell 3411 and Abell 3412. This composite image contains X-rays from... view more 

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/R. van Weeren et al; Optical: NAOJ/Subaru; Radio: NCRA/TIFR/GMRT

Reinout van Weeren and his collaborators have discovered a cosmic event never seen before. Galaxy clusters can contain many different sources of radio emission and two key types are radio halos and relics. Both these are associated with cluster-cluster mergers. Halos are detected in the central region of the cluster, whereas relics are detected as on the periphery of clusters. By combining data from Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope, Jansky Very Large Array, and other telescopes, these authors have found source of seed synchrotron emitting electrons that produce radio emission as the shock propagates through the intra-cluster medium. The authors also demonstrated the expected change in characteristics of the radio emission at the location of these seed synchrotron emitting electrons are re-accelerated by the passage of the shock.


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