Black holes are some of the universe's most enigmatic and mysterious objects. Take a tour of some of the most famous ones in the cosmos. This image of…Read More »
the Cygnus X-1 binary star system is one of the first two focused high-energy X-ray images of any astron Less «
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MWC 656 System's Star and Black Hole
Credit: Gabriel Pérez Díaz, Servicio MultiMedia (IAC)
Artist's concept of the MWC 656 system, which consists of a massive "Be" star and a companion black hole. The star rotates at very high speed, ejecting…Read More »
an equatorial disc of matter that is transferred to the black hole through an accretion disc. Less «
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I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles
Credit: Gallo et al., Westerbork radio telescope
The cross marks the location of the black hole Cygnus X-1 in this radio image. The bright region to the left (east) of the black hole is a dense cloud…Read More »
of gas existing in the space between the stars, the interstellar medium. The action of the jet from Cygn Less «
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Milky Way's Black Hole
Credit: Dexter, J., Agol, E., Fragile, P. C., McKinney, J. C., 2010, The Astrophysical Journal, 717, 1092.
Theoretical calculations predict that the Milky Way's central black hole, called Sagittarius A*, will look like this when imaged by the Event Horizon Telescope.…Read More »
The false-color image shows light radiated by gas swirling around and into a black hole. The dark region in the middle is the "black hole shadow," caused by the black hole bending light around it. Less «
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Black Hole Swallows a Star
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/JHU/STScI/Harvard-Smithsonian CfA
These images, taken with NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer and the Pan-STARRS1 telescope in Hawaii, show a brightening inside a galaxy caused by a flare…Read More »
from its nucleus. The arrow in each image points to the galaxy. The flare is a signature of the galaxy's central black hole shredding a star that wandered too close. Less «
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Black Hole Simulation
Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/J. Schnittman, J. Krolik (JHU) and S. Noble (RIT)
This annotated image labels several features in the simulation, including the event horizon of the black hole.
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Stuck in the Middle with a Black Hole
Credit: NASA/CXC/UFRGS/R. Nemmen et al.
The image shows 1 out of the 9 large galaxies included in the Chandra study, containing a supermassive black hole in its center.
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Credit: X-ray (NASA/CXC/Durham Univ./D.Alexander et al.); Optical (NASA/ESA/STScI/IoA/S.Chapman et al.); Lyman-alpha Optical (NAOJ/Subaru/Tohoku Univ./T.Hayashino et al.); Infrared (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Durham Univ./J.Geach et al.)
On left, a blob of glowing hydrogen gas appears yellow. On right, the blue light is evidence for a growing supermassive black hole in the center of the…Read More »
Artist's schematic impression of the distortion of space-time by a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy. The black hole will swallow dark…Read More »
matter at a rate which depends on its mass and on the amount of dark matter around it. Less «
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Smash It Up
A massive black hole hidden at the center of nearby galaxy, Centaurus A, feeds on a smaller galaxy in a spectacular collision.
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Here Comes the Warm Jets
Credit: ESO/L. Calçada
Combining observations done with ESO's Very Large Telescope and NASA's Chandra X-ray telescope, astronomers have uncovered the most powerful pair of jets…Read More »
ever seen from a stellar black hole. The black hole blows a huge bubble of hot gas, 1000 light-years Less «
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Gas Cloud Ripped Apart by Black Hole — Images
Credit: ESO/S. Gillessen
These observations from ESO’s Very Large Telescope, using the SINFONI instrument, show how a gas cloud is being stretched and ripped apart as it passes…Read More »
close to the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. The horizontal axis shows the extent of the cloud along its orbit and the vertical axis shows the velocities of different parts of the cloud during the last ten years. Image released July 17, 2013. Less «
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Simulation of a Gas Cloud Passing Close to Supermassive Black Hole
Credit: ESO/S. Gillessen/MPE/Marc Schartmann
This simulation of a gas cloud passing close to the supermassive black hole at the centre of the galaxy shows the situation in mid-2013. Image released July 17, 2013.
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Gas Cloud Ripped Apart by Black Hole
Credit: ESO/S. Gillessen
New observations from ESO’s Very Large Telescope show for the first time a gas cloud being ripped apart by the supermassive black hole at the centre of…Read More »
the galaxy. Shown here are VLT observations from 2006, 2010 and 2013, coloured blue, green and red respectively. Image released July 17, 2013. Less «
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Artist's View of Super-Bright Black Hole System
Credit: Jingchuan Yu
Artist's conception of an ultraluminous X-ray source consisting of a small black hole and a nearby companion star.
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In a Hubble picture, a red circle indicates an object in a distant galaxy that could be an ejected black hole.
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Black Hole Grabs Starry Snack
This artist's concept shows a supermassive black hole at the center of a remote galaxy digesting the remnants of a star. NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer…Read More »
had a "ringside" seat for this feeding frenzy, using its ultraviolet eyes to study the process from beginning to end. This image was released Dec. 4, 2006. Less «
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Beware of the Blob
This illustration shows what one of the galaxies inside a blob might look like, with the spiral arms of the galaxy in yellow and white, and two-sided outflow…Read More »
powered by the supermassive black hole buried inside shown in bright yellow. Less «
Tariq joined Purch's Space.com team in 2001 as a staff writer, and later editor, covering human spaceflight, exploration and space science. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Google+, Twitter and on Facebook.