Release Images

Release No.: 2007-28
For Release: Monday, October 29, 2007 - 8:00pm

Massive Black Hole Smashes Record

This artist's conception shows the biggest stellar-mass black hole (upper left), which weighs 24 to 33 times as much as the Sun. It is pulling gas from a companion Wolf-Rayet star (lower right). Experts say the black hole was "born fat, it didn't grow fat."

Aurore Simonnet/Sonoma State University/NASA

This close-up from the artist's conception shows gas spiraling into the heftiest known solar-mass black hole. The gas heats up and emits X-rays, which allows astronomers to deduce the black hole's presence.

Aurore Simonnet/Sonoma State University/NASA