Release Images

Release No.: 2008-16
For Release: Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 9:00am

Closest Look Ever at the Edge of a Black Hole

This image is from a computer animation illustrating a spinning black hole.
The close-up view here represents the immediate vicinity of the black hole,
with the event horizon depicted as a black sphere. The surrounding disk of
gas, represented by white and blue rings, whirls around the black hole. The
white column over the pole of the black hole represents a jet of gas being
ejected from the vicinity of the black hole at nearly the speed of light.


This computer simulation shows what a "hot spot" of gas orbiting a black
hole would look like in an extremely high-resolution image. The black hole's
strong gravity distorts the appearance of nearby glowing gas, casting a
silhouette. The green lines are a coordinate grid, also distorted by the
black hole's gravity. Here, the black hole is viewed from an angle of 30
degrees above the disk plane.

Avery Broderick (CITA) & Avi Loeb (CfA)