EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / V. BECKMANN / NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / V. BECKMANN / NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Supermassive black hole. Artwork of a dust cloud (black) in the shape of a doughnut (torus-shaped), surrounding a supermassive black hole. The poles of the black hole are marked by jets (blue). The orange glow is due to the heating of gas and dust as it spirals in towards the black hole, forming an accretion disc. Black holes are formed when a massive star collapses. Supermassive black holes, found at the centre of galaxies, contain the mass of millions of stars. X-ray telescopes can peer through a dust torus to detect a black hole.
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