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Ground and HST images of NGC 4261 core & dust disc

Ground and HST images of NGC 4261 core & dust disc

R830/0147

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Credit

NASA / ESA / STSCI / W.JAFFE, LEIDEN OBS. / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / ESA / STSCI / W.JAFFE, LEIDEN OBS. / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Evidence for a black hole at the core of a galaxy. Comparison between ground-based (left) and Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images of the galaxy NGC 4261. The ground view is a combination of optical (white patch) and radio images (red and yellow 'jets'). The false-colour image at right is a view of the galaxy's core made by the HST. The 'doughnut' shape is thought to be a region of hot gas with a 300 light year wide inner disc of cool dust and gas. At the very centre is a bright 'hub', possibly the hot accretion disc of a black hole, emitting a V-shaped spray of material. NGC 4261 is about 45 million light years from Earth.

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