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More Images: Cases of Black Hole Mistaken Identity
X-ray Full Field, Optical, & Infrared Close-ups of CDFS
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Penn State/B.Luo et al; Optical/IR: NASA/STScI/JHU/E. Lambrides et al.)
Click for large jpg CDF-S
Black Holes
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Click for large jpg (CDF-S)
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Click for large jpg Optical
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Click for large jpg H289
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Click for large jpg H321
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Click for large jpg H412
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Click for large jpg H459
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By combining deep Chandra observations with data from Hubble, Spitzer, and other telescopes, astronomers have identified 28 black holes in an area of the sky that were previously classified differently. These black holes are circled in the Chandra Deep Field-South image, where red, green, and blue represent the low, medium, and high-energy X-rays that Chandra detects.

Illustrations of AGN
(Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)
Click for large jpg Illustration
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Click for large jpg Illustration
with cut out
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These artist's illustrations depict how these black holes are wrapped in cocoons of material, making it difficult to accurately identify them. The cocoon (red) surrounds a disk of material falling onto the black hole, plus a wind of material (blue) blowing away from the disk. A portion of the cocoon is cut out to show the heavily obscured black hole. This discovery has important implications for understanding how supermassive black holes grow and evolve over billions of years.

Return to: Cases of Black Hole Mistaken Identity (July 15, 2020)