SOFIA Highlights: Extragalactic

Illustration of the Cygnus A galaxy showing the dusty donut-shaped surroundings, jets launching from its center, and magnetic fields trapping dust around it.

By Enrique Lopez-Rodriguez, Kassandra Bell, and Joan Schmelz (USRA)

Paper: The Highly Polarized Dusty Emission Core of Cygnus A
Lopez-Rodriguez, Enrique, et al., 2018, ApJL, 861, L23.

Artist illustration of the thick ring of dust that can obscure the energetic processes that occur near the supermassive black hole of an active galactic nuclei.

Researchers at the University of Texas San Antonio using observations from NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, found that the dust surrounding active, ravenous black holes are much more compact than previously thought.

Ionized Carbon at the Center of Galaxy IC 342

SOFIA made observations of ionized carbon (CII) at the center of IC 342 galaxy using the GREAT (German REceiver for Astronomy at Terahertz frequencies) far-IR spectrometer in September 2011 as part of the mission’s Early Science program.