Black Holes: Monsters in Space

Nustar_nustar130227a_1024

nustar_nustar130227a February 21st, 2013

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

This artist's concept illustrates a supermassive black hole with millions to billions times the mass of our sun. Supermassive black holes are enormously dense objects buried at the hearts of galaxies. (Smaller black holes also exist throughout galaxies.) In this illustration, the supermassive black hole at the center is surrounded by matter flowing onto the black hole in what is termed an accretion disk. This disk forms as the dust and gas in the galaxy falls onto the hole, attracted by its gravity.

Also shown is an outflowing jet of energetic particles, believed to be powered by the black hole's spin. The regions near black holes contain compact sources of high energy X-ray radiation thought, in some scenarios, to originate from the base of these jets. This high energy X-radiation lights up the disk, which reflects it, making the disk a source of X-rays. The reflected light enables astronomers to see how fast matter is swirling in the inner region of the disk, and ultimately to measure the black hole's spin rate.

Image Source: /image/nustar/nustar130227a

Curator: NuSTAR: Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, Pasadena, CA

Image Use Policy: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/imagepolicy/

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Image Type
Artwork
Subject - Local Universe
Star » Evolutionary Stage » Black Hole
Galaxy » Component » Central Black Hole
Nustar_nustar130227a_128
 

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Position
RA = 0h 0m 0.0s
DEC = 0° 0’ 0.0”
Orientation
North is up
Field of View
0.0 x 0.0 arcminutes
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Nustar_nustar130227a_1280
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ID
nustar130227a
Subject Category
C.3.1.10   C.5.4.6  
Subject Name
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
/image/nustar/nustar130227a
Type
Artwork
Image Quality
Good
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Equinox
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,
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,
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,
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,
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FITS Header
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Creator (Curator)
NuSTAR: Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array
URL
http://www.nustar.caltech.edu
Name
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City
Pasadena
State/Province
CA
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http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/imagepolicy/
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nustar
Resource ID
Resource URL
/image/nustar/nustar130227a
Related Resources
Metadata Date
2018-01-19T23:03:14Z
Metadata Version
1.2
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