Black hole eclipse

Head over to Tom's Astronomy Blog for a post about Chandra observing an eclipse caused when a dense cloud of gas passed in front of the disc surrounding the supermassive black hole at the centre of NGC 1365 (it is a large, barred spiral galaxy in the direction of the Fornax cluster of galaxies). This is really cool because you can work out the size of the disc of material feeding matter into the black hole. It turns out to be about 2 billion times smaller than the galaxy - which is 160,000 light years across according to Wikipedia - and about 10 times larger than the size of the expected event horizon.

You can hear about this on the Science@NASA podcast - Black Hole Eclipse (MP3: 1.3 MB).

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Friday 13th Apr 2007 (11:37 CEDT) | Permalink
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