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Prehistoric black hole, conceptual image

Prehistoric black hole, conceptual image

C011/5184

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Credit

NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Prehistoric black hole, conceptual image. Computer artwork of one of the most primitive supermassive black holes (black circle, centre) known. It lies at the core of a young, star-rich galaxy and is one of two dating back to about 13 billion years ago, called J0005-0006 and J0303-0019, that were discovered by astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Gas can be seen swirling around a black hole in what is called an accretion disk. Usually, the accretion disk is surrounded by a dark doughnut-like dusty structure called a dust torus, but this is lacking in these primitive black holes. This illustration also shows how supermassive black holes can distort space and light around them.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not available.

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