Yesterday, I posted a video showing simulation of a binary pair of black holes orbiting one another.. This simulation shows a point of view between the two black holes. The black holes distort the view of the background stars, capturing their light to produce black hole silhouettes. A distinctive feature called a photon ring outlines the black holes. The background is a mosaic of the images covering the entire sky as observed by ESA’s Gaia mission.
Video Credit: NASA
A supercomputer crunched the data used to make this animation which takes you to the inner zone of the accretion disk of a stellar-mass black hole. Gas is heated to over 10,000,000 °C as it spirals into the black hole glows in low-energy, soft X-rays. As the gas approaches the event horizon, its orbital motion nears the speed of light. Hard X-rays up to hundreds of times more powerful than those in the disk are generated in the corona, a region of tenuous and much hotter gas around the disk. Temperatures in the corona reach billions of degrees.
Video Credit: NASA
Spiral galaxy NGC 3185 is about 80 million light-years away from us in the constellation of Leo (the Lion). The galaxy’s spiral arms swirl outward from the center of the galaxy toward the rim where they join a blue disk of young stars. At the galactic center of is a small but very bright nucleus containing a supermassive black hole. Supermassive black holes have masses many thousands of times that of our Sun, and they become active as matter falls towards them. When this happens the black hole lights up, sending away streams of particles and radiation at almost the speed of light.
NGC 3185 is a member of a four-galaxy group known as Hickson 44. NGC 3190 is a somewhat more famous member of the group. Apple used a blue-tinted image of it as the default wallpaper for its Mountain Lion operating system.
Image Credits: NASA, Apple