Galaxy cluster Abell 3266 contains plasma shock wave, fossil remains of black hole’s feeding frenzy

Fossil remains of a black hole’s past feeding frenzy have been discovered deep within one of the largest galaxy clusters in our sky.

Astronomers also spotted a plasma shock wave that defies physics, and a halo of radio energy within the same galaxy cluster.

The cluster — Abell 3266 — lies 800 million light-years away and stretches across 300 million light-years of sky in the southern constellation of Reticulum.

An international team of astronomers, led by Christopher Riseley of the University of Bologna in Italy, studied the cluster in detail using the powerful Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder radio telescope in outback Western Australia, and the smaller Australian Compact Telescope Array in Narrabri, New South Wales.

The team report their findings today in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.


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