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Chandra sees remarkable eclipse of black hole


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#1

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Geplaatst op 13 april 2007 - 00:19

A remarkable eclipse of a supermassive black hole and the hot gas disk around it has been observed with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. This eclipse has allowed two key predictions about the effects of supermassive black holes to be tested.

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#2

DePurpereWolf

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Geplaatst op 13 april 2007 - 08:56

Geplaatste afbeelding
The supermassive black hole is located in NGC 1365, a galaxy 60 million light years from Earth. It contains a so called active galactic nucleus, or AGN. Scientists believe that the black hole at the center of the AGN is fed by a steady stream of material, presumably in the form of a disk. Material just about to fall into a black hole should be heated to millions of degrees before passing over the event horizon, or point of no return.

The disk of gas around the central black hole in NGC 1365 produces copious X-rays but is much too small to resolve directly with a telescope. However, the disk was eclipsed by an intervening cloud, so observation of the time taken for the disk to go in and out of eclipse allowed scientists to estimate the size of the disk.





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