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Rings Around A Black Hole

Credits

Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
 
Video imagery:

·       Optical & infrared star field: Pan-STARRS
·       Composite image with x-ray rings: X-ray: NASA/CXC/U.Wisc-Madison/S. Heinz et al.; Optical/IR: Pan-STARRS
·       Illustration, x-ray binary disk: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab
·       X-ray light moves through dust rings: Andrew Beardmore (Univ. of Leicester) and NASA/Swift
·       Composite image with Chandra fields labeled: X-ray: NASA/CXC/U.Wisc-Madison/S. Heinz et al.; Optical/IR: Pan-STARRS
·       Composite image with x-ray rings: X-ray: NASA/CXC/U.Wisc-Madison/S. Heinz et al.; Optical/IR: Pan-STARRS
 
Writer: Leah Ramsay
Designer: Leah Hustak 
Science review: Dr. Christopher Britt
Education review: Jim Manning
Music from Music for Non-Profits
Transcript

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Objects and gases of various colors in outer space. Text, News from the Universe
 
August 19, 2021. Rings Around A Black Hole
 
NASA X-ray telescopes have revealed eight concentric rings that appear to emanate from a black hole 7,800 light years away.
 
Marks labeled a through h on a line across the blue rings.
 
The black hole is pulling material from a companion star, forming a disk around itself that emits bright X-ray light.
 
Flashes of X-ray light from the disc traveled out across space, running into dust clouds and reflecting off of them, appearing to us as rings.
 
The blue areas of the image are where NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory was able to take images.
 
The X-ray data indicate the black holes activity, but also provide information about the dusty clouds between it and us, including their distance and composition.
 
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This news was brought to you in part by the Chandra X-ray Center in Cambridge, MA