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CfA Press Release Images
 
 Release No. 03-17: A Pancake, Not A Doughnut, Shapes Distant Galactic Center
For Release: July 22, 2003

warped pancakeA warped "pancake" of dust and gas surrounds the supermassive black hole at the center of the Circinus galaxy. The disk channels outflowing gas into a broad spray. Astronomers observed water masers (the bright spots in this artist's conception) to determine that the outflow originates within about a third of a light-year from the galactic nucleus. (Christine Lafon, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

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