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IC 5063 Darkened AGN Cones | by geckzilla
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IC 5063 Darkened AGN Cones

To the left, a minimally processed, cleaned up image of IC 5063. Note the cones are just barely visible, but they were defined enough for me to question whether they were real or not. Upon further inspection they are indeed real, and the right side shows a heavily processed version which is intended to make the cones more readily discernible.

 

What are these cones? As of writing, currently not sure, but speculation (in no particular order) includes shadows in the interstellar medium (ISM), the ISM being cleared out by winds from the active galactic nucleus (AGN) and dimmed starlight. I have my doubts about dimmed starlight and favor the other two. It could also turn out to be none of those, but my bet would be on ISM clearing or ISM shadows. Update: Add X-shaped bulge to the list.

 

Data for this image come from Aaron Barth's Survey of Nearby Active Galaxies: archive.stsci.edu/proposal_search.php?mission=hst&id=...

 

NOTE: Data scaled up 126.20% (matches WFC3/UVIS scale)

 

All channels: ACS/WFC F814W

 

North is 3.29° clockwise from up.

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Uploaded on December 2, 2019