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HST image of NGC 4261 core & dust disc

HST image of NGC 4261 core & dust disc

R830/0148

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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. False-colour visible light image of the core of galaxy NGC 4261 made by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The 'doughnut' shape is thought to be a region of hot gas with a 300 light year wide inner disc of cooler gas and dust. At the centre is a very bright object, possibly the hot accretion disc of a black hole. There is also a feint V- shaped region coming from the core which correlates well with the 'jets' from the galaxy seen at radio wavelengths. Such jets also support the idea of a black hole at the core. NGC 4261 is about 45 million light years from Earth.

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