Surprising results showing the nurturing ability of massive black holes will be revealed Thursday, October 13, at 1pm EDT. The results are based on deep Chandra observations of the center of our galaxy.



  • 1. Ring of Massive StarsRing of Massive Stars: jpeg | tiff
    This is an artist's impression of a ring of massive, blue stars located around the supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy. The origin of this ring of stars, discovered by infrared astronomers, is a mystery because gas clouds from which stars form should have been ripped apart by tidal forces from the black hole.

    Illustration: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss
  • 2. Scenario Dismissed by Chandra ResultsScenario Dismissed by Chandra Results: jpeg | tiff
    The illustration in the upper panel shows the early formation of a star cluster (shown with red gas). To the right of the star cluster is a supermassive black hole surrounded by a disk of red and yellow gas. The lower panel shows the cluster moving towards the supermassive black hole after formation of massive stars (shown in blue) and low-mass stars (shown in red). The cluster will eventually be pulled apart by gravity from the black hole, leaving behind rings of stars.

    Illustration: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss
  • 3. Artist's Illustrations of Star Formation Around Black HoleArtist's Illustrations of Star Formation Around Black Hole: jpeg | tiff
    The artist's depiction demonstrates what scientists believe is happening very close to Sgr A*. The supermassive black hole is surrounded by a disk of gas (yellow and red). Massive stars, shown in blue, have formed in this disk, while small disks represent where stars are still forming. The Chandra results show that stars have formed locally in this disk, rather than being deposited there by a star cluster.

    Illustration: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss
  • 4. Chandra X-ray Image of Sgr A*Chandra X-ray Image of Sgr A*: jpeg | tiff
    Chandra image of the supermassive black hole in the middle of our Galaxy, a.k.a. Sagittarius A* or Sgr A*. The X-ray glow from the region close to Sgr A* shows that a relatively small number of low mass stars are located near the black hole. This result rules out the possibility that massive stars near Sgr A* came from a star cluster. Instead, they must have formed in a disk of gas around the black hole.

    Credit: NASA/CXC/MIT/F.K. Baganoff et al.
  • 5. Animation of Stars Forming Around Black Hole: Animation of Stars Forming Around Black Hole mov | mpg
    This animation shows a disk of red and yellow gas around a supermassive black hole. As the view pulls back, the formation of stars in the outer regions of the disk is seen. These massive stars form when the gas becomes unstable, despite the black hole's enormous gravitational influence, and collapses inwards.

    Animation: NASA/CXC/A. Hobart


Instant Replay Plus Information:
An instant replay of the media telecon will be available about one hour after the end of the telecon. Call: 800-685-7910 (toll free). This service will be available until Oct 20th.