M81 in 60 Seconds
Narrator (Megan Watzke, CXC): This image of the mammoth spiral galaxy M81, located about 12 million light years away, contains data from four different NASA satellites. First we see infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, followed by optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope. The Galex Satellite shows us what M81 looks like in ultraviolet emission. And finally, x-ray data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory reveals what is going on at higher energies. At the center of M81, there is a supermassive black hole that is about 70 million times more massive than the sun. A new study involving Chandra and other telescopes helps astronomers better understand how this black hole is growing.