ESA / NASA, THE AVO PROJECT AND PAOLO PADOVANI / STSCI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ESA / NASA, THE AVO PROJECT AND PAOLO PADOVANI / STSCI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Dust-bound supermassive black hole. Illustration of a dust torus around a supermassive black hole at the centre of an active galaxy. Depending on the orientation with respect to observers on Earth, this dust torus may obscure the black hole. If there is no obscuration, it is a 'type 1 source'. A 'type 2 source' has the dust torus edge-on as viewed from Earth. The identification of a population of high-power obscured black holes and the active galaxies surrounding them has been a key goal for astronomers. In this illustration the jets coming out of the regions nearest the black hole are also seen. The jets emerge from an area close to the black hole where a disk of accreted material rotates (not seen here). This illustration is based on research involving the Astrophysical Virtual Observatory (AVO) and the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS). Artwork published in 2004.
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