News Release Archive:

News Release 18 of 137

June 19, 2014 02:00 PM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2014-30

Swiftly Moving Gas Streamer Eclipses Supermassive Black Hole


Image: Hubble Detects Gas Filament Eclipsing Black Hole

Hubble Detects Gas Filament Eclipsing Black HoleSTScI-PRC2014-30

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This diagram shows the position of a dark, absorbing cloud of material located high above the supermassive black hole and accretion disk in the center of the active galaxy NGC 5548. The Hubble Space Telescope didn't directly photograph the intervening cloud, but through spectroscopy noted its passage in front of the black hole. Numerous other filaments twist around the black hole as they are swept away by a torrent of radiation "winds."

Image Type: Illustration

Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)