Matter accreting around a supermassive black hole (artist's impression)

At the heart of most, if not all, giant galaxies lies a supermassive black hole. When dust and gas falls into the central black hole, it heats up and emits intense radiation. Quasars, some of the brightest objects in the cosmos, are powered by these phenomena. In this artist’s impression of a quasar, the rotating ring of matter, and powerful jets of particles thrown out at close to the speed of light can be seen.


ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser)

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Release date:1 March 2011, 16:00
Duration:20 s
Frame rate:30 fps

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