Skip to main content
CONGRATULATIONS, YOU FOUND A SECRET PAGE!

Supermassive Black Holes!

Tanno and Iguda’s postcard from the centre of galaxy M87 showed the first time we’ve ever taken an image of a black hole. Astronomers believe most galaxies have a supermassive black hole at the centre.

Galaxy NGC1097

This picture shows galaxy NGC1097, which is about 50 million light years away. It looks like it has an eye at the centre, because its black hole has dragged in millions of stars really close to it.

New stars are being formed in the spiral arms. The fuzzy blue spot on the left is another galaxy, but we aren’t sure if it forced a hole in the spiral arms, or just happens to be sitting in a good spot for us to see it.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ESA

The second photo shows how the Event Horizon Telescope team were able to zoom in and zoom in to finally see the black hole.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/IPAC/EHT Collaboration 

What is a Black Hole?

Some videos covering what exactly is, and how to photograph, a black hole.

Lost in Space???

Learn about how we measure the huge distances in space.

WHAT IS A LIGHT YEAR?!

black hole Cygnus X-1

Some objects in space are very dense. This means that they have a huge amount of matter. Matter is basically any kind of stuff you could touch – so NOT the force between two magnets, but the actual magnets themselves are made from matter. All matter causes gravitational forces, usually too small for us to feel. So the force you feel between two magnets is not their gravity – that’s too weak – it’s their magnetic force.

This picture shows the superstrong gravity from black hole Cygnus X-1 dragging matter from its neighbour, a blue supergiant.

Objects with a high enough density will create enough gravity so that anything too close to them will be sucked in and become stuck, unable to escape. That’s a black hole. Big black holes can be spotted by telescopes looking for X-rays. A lot of energy comes out of material the black hole sucks in, because that matter will start to move really fast. Often this energy comes to us as X-rays.

Image Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

Being curious is one of the most important things about being a scientist ...

Scientists ask questions. We always want to find out why things happen. Scientists love to wonder “Hmm, what would happen if …?”

Your Task

Black holes are really strange things. Write down five questions about black holes that you would like to know more about.

NASA has many webpages that try to explain all about black holes. Click on this link to go and read 10 questions and answers that they thought people might be interested in. Next to each of your questions, research what people know already and write a short summary about each answer.

– MISSION END –

– MISSION END –

– MISSION END –

– MISSION END –

Your Journey So Far …

Tanno and Iguda have explored these places up to now. You can go back and visit again by clicking below.

Universe

Black Holes

Great to see you here, thank you for the visit! See you next time …

Tanno & Iguda