Black hole hidden within its own exhaust


09/22/2016 11:28 AM EDT

artist impression of the heart of galaxy NGC 1068

Supermassive black holes, millions to billions of times the mass of our Sun, are found at the centers of galaxies. Many are hidden within a thick doughnut-shape ring of dust and gas known as a torus. Previous observations suggested these cloaking structures are formed from native material found near the galaxy’s center. New data from NSF-funded Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array reveal that one such black hole is actually the source of its own dusty torus of dust and gas.

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National Radio Astronomy Observatory

This is an NSF News From the Field item.