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Voracious Black Hole

By Gillian Conahan
Oct 25, 2012 5:00 AMNov 12, 2019 4:21 AM
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab


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The nearby spiral galaxy M83 is ablaze with high-energy X-rays in this new image from NASA’s orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory. The splotch at bottom right is the galaxy’s core. The bright spot to the core’s left did not show up in similar images several years ago, but now it is an X-ray-emitting powerhouse. Astronomers believe it is a black hole gulping material from a companion star. The infalling gas heats up and emits intense radiation, some of which makes its way to Earth.

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