View Full Version : Discussion: Doughnut Around a Giant Black Hole

2003-Jul-08, 10:08 PM
SUMMARY: Astronomers now believe that a supermassive black hole lies at the heart of most galaxies. In some cases, the area around the black hole is so bright it outshines the rest of the galaxy by several orders of magnitude. Indirect evidence tells astronomers that a thick doughnut-shaped structure of gas and dust (called a torus) enshrouds the black holes, but one had never been seen directly, until now. Using the European Southern Observatory's VTL Interferometer, which combines the light from several telescopes, astronomers have been able to resolve the structures at the heart of galaxy NGC 1068.

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