NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Black hole GX 339-4, artwork. This black hole is located around 20,000 light years from Earth, in the constellation of Ara. It has a mass more than six times that of the Sun, and is surrounded by an accretion disk (red) of material being pulled from a neighbouring star (yellow orb). Some of this material is ejected as jets (above and below the disk). Previous studies had been done in X-ray, gamma and radio, but the region close to the black hole glows brightly in infrared light. Observations made over the course of a year by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) showed large fluctuations in this area. Artwork published in 2011.
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