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Black Holes (Illustrations)
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1. Illustration of Baby Galaxy and Galaxy Core
This artist's impression shows a very young galaxy located in the early Universe less than one billion years after the Big Bang. The distorted appearance of the galaxy is caused by the large number of mergers occurring at this early epoch, and the blue regions mark where star formation is occurring at a high rate. The core of the galaxy is embedded within heavy veils of dust and gas. A cut-out from the core shows that this dust and gas is hiding very bright radiation from the very center of the galaxy, produced by a rapidly growing supermassive black hole.
(Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

More Information on CDFS

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2. Illustration of Core of Galaxy and Its Supermassive Black Hole
This artist's impression shows a growing supermassive black hole located at the center of a galaxy's core. The black hole and the copious amounts of optical and ultraviolet radiation produced by gas falling onto it - as shown by the cut-out - are hidden by a heavy veil of dust and gas. However, extremely energetic X-rays can penetrate this dust and gas.
(Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

More Information on CDFS

Stellar-Mass Black Hole
3. Illustration of a Stellar-Mass Black Hole
This is an artist's representation of GRO J1655-40, a binary star system observed in April 2005 by Chandra. This binary consists of a black hole and a normal star shown in blue. Gas is being pulled away from the star and falling onto a red disk spinning around the black hole. Some of this gas spirals in towards the black hole, generating copious amounts of light along the way. This infall of matter is only possible if the gas loses some of its energy either through a wind, shown in blue, or friction in the disk. (Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

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4. Illustration of Magnetic Fields in GRO J1655-40
This artist's representation shows how magnetic fields may drive a wind in GRO J1655-40. Rotation in the disk plus magnetic actions in the disk can cause magnetic fields, shown here in this simplified version as black lines, to become coiled up like a snake. This can result in gas being driven upwards and away from the disk by pressure created by the magnetic fields, resulting in the wind observed by Chandra. (Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

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5. AGN illustration
This is an artist's representation of an active galactic nucleus (AGN) at the center of a galaxy. Gas is pulled towards a supermassive black hole and falls onto a disk, shown in red. Some of this gas spirals inwards, generating massive amounts of radiation before falling onto the black hole. This infall of matter is only possible if the gas loses some of its energy either through a wind, shown in blue, or friction in the disk. The most spectacular AGN behavior is seen in quasars, the brightest objects known in the Universe. (Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

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6. Comparison of an AGN and a Stellar-Mass Black Hole
These two illustrations compare the basic structure of an active galactic nucleus (AGN) and a stellar-mass black hole in a binary system. The AGN contains a supermassive black hole attracting gas from the central regions of a galaxy, while the stellar-mass black hole, typically with a mass about 5-10 times that of the Sun, is rapidly pulling gas from a normal companion star. Although the stellar-mass black hole is millions of times smaller than the black hole in the AGN, there are many similarities in structure between these two types of object. As shown here, both contain black holes surrounded by a disk of hot gas, and a wind blowing away from the disk. There are also many similarities in observational properties. Stellar-mass black holes can therefore be used as scale-models of AGN, and the mechanism that drives the wind - causing gas in the disk to lose energy and fall onto the black hole - is expected to be the same for both classes. (Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

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Blue Supergiant Star
Blue Supergiant Wind
Supernova Explosion
Supernova Explosion
7. Image Sequence of a Black Hole Pulling Matter from Companion Star
This image sequence shows the orbit of the binary system GRO J1655-40. Gas is being pulled away from a normal star, shown in blue, and crashes onto a red disk that is spinning around a central black hole. The animation then zooms in to show a closer view of the disk. Some of the gas in the disk spirals inwards and falls onto the black hole, generating light along the way, and some of it is blown away in a wind.
View Animation
(Illustration: NASA/CXC/A.Hobart)

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8. Illustration of Black Hole Engine
The first artist's illustration shows a close-up view of a supermassive black hole in a galaxy's center. Gas becomes hotter as it approaches the black hole, turning from red to yellow to white. Most of the gas is swallowed by the black hole, but some is launched in jets away from the black hole at almost the speed of light. The next illustration shows a larger area where gas is first attracted to the black hole, a region about a million times larger than the black hole's event horizon. The final illustration shows enormous cavities -- a hundred times larger -- that have been created in the galaxy's hot gas by jets from the black hole. (Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

More Information on NGC 4696

9. Still Images from Animation of Black Hole in Elliptical Galaxy
This artist's illustrations depicts a journey into the center of an elliptical galaxy. After traveling past stars in the outer part of the galaxy, the supermassive black hole located at the bright center of the galaxy becomes visible. This black hole is surrounded by hot gas shown in red and yellow, which acts as fuel for the black hole engine. Power generated by the engine flows away from the black hole via jets of high-energy particles.
View Animation
(Credit: NASA/CXC/A.Hobart)

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10. Artist's Illustration of Star Formation Around Black Hole
The artist's depiction on the left demonstrates what scientists believe is happening very close to Sgr A*. The supermassive black hole is surrounded by a disk of gas (yellow and red). Massive stars, shown in blue, have formed in this disk, while small disks represent where stars are still forming. The Chandra results show that stars have formed locally in this disk, rather than being deposited there by a star cluster. The second illustration shows the resulting ring of massive stars, which are observable with infrared telescopes. (Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)


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11. Scenario Dismissed by Chandra Results
The illustration in the upper panel shows the early formation of a star cluster (shown with red gas). To the right of the star cluster is a supermassive black hole surrounded by a disk of red and yellow gas. The lower panel shows the cluster moving towards the supermassive black hole after formation of massive stars (shown in blue) and low-mass stars (shown in red). The cluster will eventually be pulled apart by gravity from the black hole, leaving behind rings of stars. (Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)


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12. Illustrations of Stars Forming Around Black Hole
This sequence of images shows a disk of red and yellow gas around a supermassive black hole. As the view pulls back, the formation of stars in the outer regions of the disk is seen. These massive stars form when the gas becomes unstable, despite the black hole's enormous gravitational influence, and collapses inwards.
View Animation
(Illustration: NASA/CXC/A.Hobart)

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