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Dust torus around a supermassive black hole August 21, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Deep Space, Space Fotos.
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ESA / V. Beckmann (NASA-GSFC)


This artist’s impression shows the thick dust torus that astronomers believe surrounds many supermassive black holes and their accretion discs. When the torus is seen edge-on as in this case, much of the light emitted by the accretion disc is blocked, creating a “hidden” black hole.

However, the sharp gamma-ray and X-ray eyes of Integral can peer through the thick dust and identify the black hole within. An Integral survey of the local universe found few hidden black holes, implying that they must have existed earlier (deeper) in the universe.

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