About this image

This is an illustration of a supermassive black hole, weighing as much as 21 million suns, located in the middle of the ultradense galaxy M60-UCD1. The dwarf galaxy is so dense that millions of stars fill the sky as seen by an imaginary visitor. Because no light can escape from the black hole, it appears simply in silhouette against the starry background. The black hole's intense gravitational field warps the light of the background stars to form ring-like images just outside the dark edges of the black hole's event horizon. Combined observations by the Hubble Space Telescope and Gemini North telescope determined the presence of the black hole inside such a small and dense galaxy.

Artwork, Black Holes, Elliptical Galaxies, Galaxies


Illustration Credit: NASA, ESA, and D. Coe and G. Bacon (STScI)