Eclipsing a black hole | Science News



Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


Eclipsing a black hole

1:41pm, April 17, 2007

A chance eclipse has enabled astronomers for the first time to measure the width of a disk of swirling, hot matter around a supermassive black hole.

The black hole lies at the center of the galaxy NGC 1365, some 60 million light-years from Earth. Scientists have proposed that gas and dust surrounding such a hole don't simply fall in but form a rotating disk. Matter dragged inward from the disk would be heated to millions of kelvins and emit X rays before disappearing into the hole.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content