Supermassive black hole

This animation of supercomputer data takes you to the inner zone of the accretion disk of a stellar-mass black hole. It was put together by the folks at NASA. This supercomputer simulation is helping astronomers better understand how X-rays travel around a black hole.

This animation shows the inner zone of the accretion disk of a stellar-mass black hole as gas heated up to 20 million degrees F spirals toward the hole. Stellar gas is accelerated to near-light-speed thanks to the incredible draw of the black hole’s gravity. The simulation reproduces X-ray features that have been observed in black holes, and allows researchers to use the available data on black holes to track the emission and absorption of X-rays.

You know how a hot iron bar will glow red? That’s emission in the visible and infrared regions of light. Gas surrounding a black hole gets so hot that it emits light with MUCH higher energy: X-rays!

Near the center, the event horizon marks where nothing, not even x-rays, can escape the pull of gravity. That’s the dark disk in the center.

Hypnotized? Well, although beautiful, I don’t want to see a black hole from too close!

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