IC 5063

IC 5063 is a galaxy about 156 million light-years away. The interplay of light and shadow we see in the galaxy is probably caused by light blasted by jets fro##a supermassive black hole smacking into a dust ring buried deep inside the core. Light streams through gaps in the ring, creating the brilliant cone-shaped rays, but denser patches block some of the light, casting long, dark shadows through the galaxy. Sunlight streaming through clouds at sunset can create a similar effect, creating a mixture of bright rays and dark shadows formed by beams of light scattered by the atmosphere.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA

A Dwarf with a Supermassive Black Hole

A dwarf starburst galaxy about 30 million light years from Earth.Henize 2-10 is a dwarf galaxy, and it is the first dwarf galaxy ever discovered to contain a supermassive black hole at its center. This was surprising because the black hole is about one quarter of the size of the one at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. However, Henize 2-10 is only about1/1,000th the size of the Milky Way..

This image combines x-ray (Chandra), visible light (Hubble), and radio telescope (Very Large Array) views.

Image Credit: NASA / NRAO

And in Other News from Outer Space …

Astronomers report that the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy (known as Sgr A*) is becoming more active. The black hole’s output varies a little across the electromagnetic spectrum on a daily basis, but over the last few years, Sgr A*’s X-ray flares have become more energetic.

Beowulf Shaeffer was unavailable for comment.