Hidden Lair at the Heart of Galaxy NGC 1068

Nustar_nustar151217b_500

nustar_nustar151217b December 17th, 2015

Credit: NASA/ESA/JPL-Caltech

Galaxy NGC 1068 can be seen in close-up in this view from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. NuSTAR's high-energy X-rays eyes were able to obtain the best view yet into the hidden lair of the galaxy's central, supermassive black hole. This active black hole -- shown as an illustration in the zoomed-in inset -- is one of the most obscured known, meaning that it is surrounded by extremely thick clouds of gas and dust.

The NuSTAR data revealed that the torus of gas and dust surrounding the black hole, also referred to as a doughnut, is more clumpy than previously thought. Doughnuts around active, supermassive black holes were originally proposed in the mid-1980s to be smooth entities. More recently, researchers have been finding that doughnuts are not so smooth but have lumps. NuSTAR's latest finding shows that this is true for even the thickest of doughnuts.

Image Source: /image/nustar/nustar151217b

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

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

Image Details

Image Type
Collage
Object Name
Messier 77 M77 NGC 1068
Subject - Local Universe
Galaxy » Type » Spiral
Galaxy » Activity » AGN
Galaxy » Component » Central Black Hole
Star » Circumstellar Material » Disk » Accretion

Distance

Universescale2
47,000,000 light years
Nustar_nustar151217b_128
 

Position Details

Position
RA = 0h 0m 0.0s
DEC = 0° 0’ 0.0”
Orientation
North is up
Field of View
0.0 x 0.0 arcminutes
Constellation
Pisces

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_cyan Hubble Space Telescope (WFPC2) Optical (V) 606.0 nm
Arrow_left_red Hubble Space Telescope (ACS) Optical (H-alpha) 658.0 nm
Arrow_left_orange Hubble Space Telescope (ACS) Infrared (I) 814.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Arrow_top_cyan
Arrow_top_red
Arrow_top_orange
Nustar_nustar151217b_1280
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ID
nustar151217b
Subject Category
C.5.1.1   C.5.3.2   C.5.4.6   C.3.7.2.2  
Subject Name
Messier 77, M77, NGC 1068
Credits
NASA/ESA/JPL-Caltech
Lightyears
47,000,000
Redshift
0.003793
Reference Url
/image/nustar/nustar151217b
Type
Collage
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope
Instrument
WFPC2, ACS, ACS
Color Assignment
Cyan, Red, Orange
Band
Optical, Optical, Infrared
Bandpass
V, H-alpha, I
Central Wavelength
606, 658, 814
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
Equinox
Reference Value
,
Reference Dimension
,
Reference Pixel
,
Scale
,
Rotation
Coordinate System Projection:
Quality
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
NuSTAR: Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array
URL
http://www.nustar.caltech.edu
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
City
Pasadena
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
Country
Rights
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/imagepolicy/
Publisher
Publisher ID
nustar
Resource ID
Resource URL
/image/nustar/nustar151217b
Related Resources
Metadata Date
2015-12-17T21:15:53Z
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

 

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Universescalefull
47,000,000 light years