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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. Sequence of Hubble and Chandra Images of NGC 6240
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This sequence begins with a wide-field optical image of the galaxy NGC 6240 and then zooms into the central region where it dissolves to a Chandra X-ray image. The colors in the X-ray image show the intensity of the low (red), medium (green) and high (blue) energy X-rays. This image then dissolves to show only the highest-energy X-rays detected by Chandra, which come from gas around the two black holes in the center of the galaxy.
[Runtime: 0:15]
(X-ray: NASA/CXC/MPE/S.Komossa et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI/R.P.van der Marel & J.Gerssen)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
2. Black Hole Merger Animation
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The movie shows a merger of two galaxies (simulation) that forms a single galaxy with two centrally located supermassive black holes surrounded by disks of hot gas. The black holes orbit each other for hundreds of millions of years before they merge to form a single supermassive black hole that sends out intense gravitational waves.
[Runtime: 0:43]
View Stills
(Animation: NASA/CXC/A.Hobart; Simulation: Josh Barnes (U of Hawaii)/John Hibbard (NRAO))

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
3. Animation of Black Hole with Accretion Disk and Torus
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This artist's conception shows a black hole system in each of its constituent parts as viewed from the top. First, the image shows the black hole itself, then a disk of hot gas surrounding the black hole, and, finally a large doughnut (or torus) of cooler gas and dust enshrouding the system. Next, this artist's conception shows the black hole as viewed edge-on, surrounded by the disk of hot gas, and the large torus of cooler gas and dust. This animation shows why X-rays are crucial in understanding the nature of these black hole systems. Unlike optical emission, X-rays can penetrate the torus of gas and dust that enshrouds the black hole, and therefore reveals information about the central object which is otherwise hidden.
[Runtime: 0:16]
(CXC/M.Weiss & A.Hobart)

Click for high-resolution animation
4. Sequence of Chandra Images of Galactic Center & Sgr A*
QuicktimeMPEG This sequence begins with a 400 by 900 light-year mosaic of several Chandra images of the central region of our Galaxy that reveals hundreds of white dwarf stars, neutron stars, and black holes bathed in an incandescent fog of multimillion-degree gas. The mosaic then zooms into a large region around the supermassive black hole at our Galaxy's center, a.k.a. Sagittarius A* or Sgr A*. Marked in this field around Sgr A* are two newly discovered large lobes of multimillion-degree gas that extend for dozens of light years on either side of the black hole. The final Chandra image in this sequence is a close-up of the location of the supermassive black hole Sgr A* and an X-ray jet. This suspected jet is 1.5 light years in length and is due to high-energy particles ejected from the vicinity of the black hole.
[Runtime: 0:22]
(Galactic Center (Survey): NASA/UMass/D.Wang et al., Sgr A* (3-color & close-up): NASA/CXC/MIT/F.K.Baganoff et al.)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
5. Black Hole Flare Animation
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This sequence begins with a 600,000-second exposure of Sgr A* made with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. Next, it zooms into the precise location of the central supermassive hole, and then dissolves into an artist's rendition of the system. This illustrates how high-energy particles and X-ray flares are produced when matter falls onto the accretion disk around a supermassive black hole.
[Runtime: 0:22]
View Stills
(NASA/SAO/CXC/D.Berry)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
6. Black Hole Animation
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This animation illustrates the activity surrounding a black hole. While the matter that has passed the black hole's "event horizon" can't be seen, material swirling outside this threshold is accelerated to millions of degrees and radiates in X-rays. At the end of the animation, the black hole is shown shrouded in a cloud of gas and dust, obscuring it from most angles at wavelengths other than the X-rays picked up by the Chandra X-ray Observatory.
[Runtime: 0:27]
View Stills
(NASA/CXC/A.Hobart)

Click for high-resolution animation
7. Focus on Black Holes in the Chandra Deep Field-North
QuicktimeMPEG This sequence demonstrates how X-rays are needed to find black holes. Beginning with the Chandra Deep Field-North, the view zooms into an X-ray close-up of a black hole over 10 billion light years away. When it dissolves into an optical image, the host galaxy is clearly bright in the center indicating the presence of a growing black hole. On the other hand, a relatively nearby black hole is bright in X-ray light, but an optical image looks like a "normal" spiral galaxy. Therefore, this black hole would have been missed without the X-ray information.
[Runtime: 0:15]
(Animation: X-ray image: NASA/CXC/PSU/D.M.Alexander, F.E.Bauer, W.N.Brandt et al.; Optical image: NASA/ESA/The GOODS Team)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
8. Illustrations of Disks around Black Holes
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These two illustrations show the difference between the very biggest supermassive black holes in the Universe and relatively smaller ones. In each case, the black hole is swallowing large amounts of gas from a surrounding disk. The first illustration is of a black hole with a mass between about 10 million and 100 million Suns. Here, the central black hole is obscured by a thick donut-shaped cloud of dust and gas. The second shows the growth of a larger black hole, with a mass greater than 100 million Suns. This black hole is surrounded by much a thinner torus of dust and gas.
[Runtime: 0:12]
(NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
9. Comparison of Obscured AGN Spectrum and XMM Spectrum
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This sequence of illustrations begins by showing an active galactic nucleus (AGN), a supermassive black hole that is swallowing large amounts of gas via a disk. In the type of AGN shown here the central black hole is obscured by a thick donut-shaped cloud of dust and gas. A representation of the X-ray spectrum, or X-ray energy signature, of a typical obscured AGN is then shown in yellow, followed by the XMM spectrum of the event in RX J1242-11 (shown in blue). The clear difference between the obscured AGN spectrum and the XMM spectrum shows that RX J1242-11 is not an obscured AGN. An optical spectrum obtained earlier with HST rules out the possibility that RX J1242-11 is a "normal" AGN, where the nucleus containing the black hole is not obscured by dust and gas.
[Runtime: 0:14]
(Spectrum: ESA/XMM-Newton/S.Komossa et al.; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
10. Illustrations Explaining Tidal Disruption
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The first illustration in this sequence shows a doomed star (orange circle) that wanders so close to a giant black hole that the black hole's enormous gravity stretches the star until it is torn apart. Some of the disrupted star's mass (indicated by the white stream) is swallowed by the black hole, while the rest is flung away into the surrounding galaxy. The second illustration shows how the gas that was pulled towards the black hole forms a disk and is heated before being swallowed by the black hole. The third illustration shows a much fainter disk, after about ten years have elapsed, when most of the gas has been swallowed by the black hole.
[Runtime: 0:12]
(NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

Related Chandra Images:

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