Dusty Streams "Feed" Black Hole

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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:

·       Spitzer view of the Andromeda galaxy, with background from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE): NASA/JPL-Caltech
·       Spitzer view of the Andromeda galaxy, isolating dust: NASA/JPL-Caltech
·       Annotated, close-up view of the dust near the center of the Andromeda galaxy: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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A grid of photographs of celestial bodies moves up. A white line moves down and another across. Text, News from the universe. The text is above an image of Jupiter. 
May 16, 2024. Dusty Streams "Feed" Black Hole. 
Rings of orange light around a bright bluish center. 
Text, Archival images from NASA's retired Spitzer Space Telescope have provided new insight into "quiet" supermassive black holes. 
Researchers looked back at Spitzer images of the area surrounding the black hole at the heart of the Andromeda galaxy. 
Unlike many galaxies with black holes actively "consuming" clumps of material, Andromeda's central region does not have big changes in brightness. 
Using Spitzer to isolate dust glowing in infrared light, researchers found streams of dust thousands of light-years long that spiral inward to Andromeda's supermassive black hole. 
A fire-orange spiral of light. 
Text, Andromeda's dusty streams align with new computer models of how a quiet black hole could be "fed" by a continuous flow, rather than in clumps -- snacking all day, rather than a few big meals. 
Researchers say this is an excellent example of how data collected decades ago can work effectively with cutting-edge computer simulations. 
Black hole in the center. Scale, 1,000 light years. 
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