Images
X-ray Images
Chandra Mission
X-ray Astronomy
Chandra People
Podcasts
Chandra in HD
Standard Definition
The Invisible Sky
Two Inch Universe
By Date/Category
Other Features
Animations & Video
Special Features
Audio
Inspirations
3D Files and Resources
Resources
Q & A
Glossary
Acronym Guide
Further Reading
Desktop Images
iPhone Wallpapers
By Date/Category
Miscellaneous
Handouts
Image Handouts
Chandra Lithographs
Chandra Infographics
Educational Activities
Printable Games
Chandra Fact Sheets
Presentations
Entire Collection
By Date
By Category
Presentations
Web Shortcuts
Chandra Blog
RSS Feed
Chandra Mobile
Chronicle
Email Newsletter
News & Noteworthy
Image Use Policy
Questions & Answers
Glossary of Terms
Download Guide
Get Adobe Reader
Problems Viewing?
Having trouble viewing a movie? Make sure you update your video plug-ins. Visit our download center for help.
More Information
Black Holes
X-ray Astronomy Field Guide
Black Holes
Questions and Answers
Black Holes
Chandra Images
Black Holes
Animations & Video: Black Holes
Page 1234567
Click for high-resolution animation
1. Tour of NGC 6240
QuicktimeMPEG Two large galaxies are colliding and scientists have used Chandra to make a detailed study of an enormous cloud of hot gas that surrounds them. This unusually large reservoir of gas contains as much mass as about 10 billion Suns, spans about 300,000 light years, and radiates at a temperature of more than 7 million degrees. This giant gas cloud, which scientists call a "halo," is located in the system known as NGC 6240. As the galaxies - each about the size and shape of our Milky Way -- merge, the gas contained in individual galaxy has been violently stirred up. This caused a baby boom of new stars that has lasted for at least 200 million years. During this burst of stellar birth, some of the most massive stars raced through their evolution and exploded relatively quickly as supernovas. According to researchers, this created new hot gas enriched with important elements -- such as oxygen, neon, and magnesium -- that expanded into and mixed with cooler gas that was already there. In the future, the two spiral galaxies will probably form one young elliptical galaxy over the course of millions of years. It is unclear, however, how much of the hot gas can be retained by this newly formed galaxy, or if it will be lost to surrounding space. Regardless, the collision in NGC 6240 offers the opportunity to witness a relatively nearby version of an event that was common in the early Universe.
[Runtime: 02.06]
(NASA/CXC/J. DePasquale)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
2. Learn About Black Holes
QuicktimeMPEG If a star has three times or more the mass of the sun and collapses, it can form a black hole.
These bizarre objects are found across the universe within double-star systems and at the centers of galaxies where giant black holes grow.
X-ray telescopes like Chandra can see superheated matter that is swirling toward the event horizon of a black hole.
Chandra has revealed how black holes impact their environments, how they behave, and their role in helping shape the evolution of the cosmos.
See black holes through Chandra's eyes.
[Runtime: 01:31]
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Click for high-resolution animation
3. Tour of PKS 0745
QuicktimeMPEG Some of the biggest black holes in the Universe may actually be even bigger than previously thought. This is according to a new survey of 18 of the largest known black holes using data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes. A group of astronomers studied black holes found in the centers of galaxy clusters that are filled with hot gas. They came up with the new estimates of the black hole masses by looking at the amount of X-rays and radio waves they generate. The researchers found that the black holes in the survey may be about ten times more massive than previously thought. This includes at least ten that could weigh between 10 and 40 billion times the mass of the sun, making them "ultramassive" black holes.
[Runtime: 00:52]
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
4. Tour of NGC 4342 & NGC 4291
QuicktimeMPEG Astronomers think that just about every galaxy has a giant black hole at its center. For quite some time, the prevailing wisdom has been that the mass of these supermassive black holes is tied to the size of the tightly packed group of stars around the galaxy's center known as its bulge. Two objects, however, have been discovered that are challenging this idea. NGC 4342 and NGC 4291 are relatively nearby galaxies, which means astronomers can get particularly good views of them. New data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory revealed the presence of massive envelopes of dark matter around each galaxy. The researchers think the growth of the supermassive black holes may, in fact, be tied more closely to the amount and distribution of the dark matter in each galaxy, rather than the mass of stars contained in their bulges as previously believed.
[Runtime: 00.57]
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
5. Tour of CID-42
QuicktimeMPEG At the center of a galaxy some 4 billion light years from Earth, something extraordinary is happening. This galaxy, known as CID-42, contains a giant black hole. This fact itself is not so unusual. What is different about CID-42 is that this supermassive black hole is being ejected from its host galaxy at several million miles per hour. What led to this black hole ejection? Astronomers think that in the past CID-42 collided with another galaxy. When it did, the two central black holes also collided and merged. The joined black hole then received a powerful kick from gravitational waves, a phenomenon predicted by Einstein but never directly detected. While astronomers have been studying CID-42 for quite some time, it took new data from Chandra's High Resolution Camera to pinpoint just where the X-rays were coming from, which helped clarify just what was going on in this galaxy.
[Runtime: 01:03]
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
6. Simulation of Black Hole Ejection
QuicktimeMPEG This simulation shows a collision between a pair of spiral galaxies leading to a merger between their supermassive black holes and an ejection of the new black hole that forms. This represents a model for the formation and evolution of the exotic X-ray source CID-42.
The galaxy collision causes long tails of stars to be thrown out of each galaxy. After the collision the two black holes (labelled by circles) initially located at the center of each galaxy orbit around each other until they eventually merge. The newly formed black hole recoils from the directional emission of gravitational waves produced by the collision, giving the newly merged black hole a sufficiently large kick for it to eventually escape from the galaxy. The simulation freezes briefly to make a comparison with the HST optical image, at a time about 6 million years after the merger. The speed of the black hole at this time is over three million miles per hour, compared to the escape velocity of the galaxy of only about 1.7 million miles per hour.
The masses of the two galaxies are about 450 billion and 230 billion times the mass of the sun, with stars forming throughout the simulation. The masses of the two black holes just before they merge are about 5.4 and 4.3 million times the mass of the sun, giving a total of about 10 million solar masses for the new black hole. Both black holes grow considerably during the galaxy collision. The total duration of the movie is 2 billion years, with the merger and ejection of the black hole occurring after 1.9 billion years. The movie runs at half speed after the merger so the eye can track the black hole flying out of the galaxy. The recoiling black hole could be detectable, by radiation from material in a surrounding disk, for several million years after the time of the observation. By the end of the simulation, the BH has virtually exhausted its gas supply and is moving, invisible, through intergalactic space.
[Runtime: 00.29]
(Laura Blecha)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
7. Tour of Sagittarius A*
QuicktimeMPEG Over several years, astronomers have noticed flares in X-ray light from the black hole at the center of the Milky Way. NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory detected these flares during the telescope's periodic observations of the black hole. A new study suggests that these flares may occur when the black hole - known as Sagittarrius A* or Sgr A* for short -- consumes an asteroid at least six miles wide. If an asteroid gets too close to another object like a star or planet, it can be thrown into an orbit headed toward Sgr A*. Once the asteroid passes within about 100 million miles of the black hole, it is torn into pieces by the black hole's tidal forces. Eventually, these fragments are vaporized by friction as they pass through the hot, thin gas flowing onto Sgr A*. This is what produces an X-ray flare. If confirmed, this result could mean that there is a cloud around Sgr A* containing trillions of asteroids and comets. This would be an exciting development for the many scientists who are fascinated by the Milky Way's giant black hole and the environment around it.
[Runtime: 01:17]
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
8. Zoom in to Cygnus X-1
QuicktimeMPEG Cygnus X-1 is located near large active regions of star formation in the Milky Way. Cygnus X-1 is a black hole about 15 times the mass of the Sun in orbit with a massive blue companion star. Astronomers used several telescopes including Chandra to study Cygnus X-1. The combined data have revealed the spin, mass, and distance of this black hole more precisely than ever before.
[Runtime: 00:30]
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
9. Tour of Cygnus X-1
QuicktimeMPEG Over three decades ago, Stephen Hawking placed, and eventually lost, a bet against the existence of a black hole in Cygnus X-1. Today, astronomers are confident the Cygnus X-1 system contains a black hole. In fact, a team of scientists has combined data from radio, optical, and X-ray telescopes including Chandra to determine the black hole's spin, mass, and distance more precisely than ever before. With these key pieces of information, the history of the black hole has been reconstructed. This new information gives astronomers strong clues about how the black hole was born, how much it weighed, and how fast it was spinning. This is important because scientists still would like to know much more about the birth of black holes.
[Runtime: 00:55]
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
10. Tour of NGC 3115
QuicktimeMPEG This is NGC 3115, a galaxy located about 32 million light years from Earth. This composite image contains X-rays from Chandra as well as optical data from the Very Large Telescope. Using the new Chandra image, astronomers have imaged the flow of hot gas as it falls toward the supermassive black hole in the center of NGC 3115. This is the first time such a flow has been clearly imaged in any black hole. The Chandra data also provide evidence that the black hole in NGC 3115 has a mass of about two billion times that of the Sun. This would make NGC 3115 the host of the nearest billion-solar-mass black hole to Earth.
[Runtime: 00:55]
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:

Page 1234567