SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Rosy Haze, Black Hole Jet, More

SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Rosy Haze, Black Hole Jet, More
<< Previous   3 of 5   Next >>
November 30, 2009--A jet of high-energy particles shooting from a black hole (left) ignites stars in a nearby galaxy in an artist's rendering. Two new studies based on data from the European Southern Observatory suggest that the nearby active black hole HE0450-2958 is creating its future home by "zapping" a nearby galaxy, triggering rapid star formation.

Most large galaxies are thought to have supermassive black holes in their middles, although scientists haven't been sure which comes first, the galaxy or the black hole. HE0450-2958 has no identified host galaxy of its own. But the black hole's jet is feeding a companion galaxy, which is forming stars at a rate of about 350 suns a year--a hundred times the rate of a typical galaxy. Astronomers think the two objects will eventually merge, creating a full-fledged galaxy with a black hole at its heart.
—Image courtesy ESO/L. Calcada
 
NEWS FEEDS    After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed. After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.

Get our news delivered directly to your desktop—free.
How to Use XML or RSS




 

50 Drives of a Lifetime

Listen to your favorite National Geographic news daily, anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone. No wires or syncing. Download Stitcher free today.