Happy 6th anniversary for #BlackHoleFriday, a space version of #BlackFridayShopping. How big are black holes? Black holes can be large or small…just like the lines in all of the stores today. Scientists think the smallest black holes are as small as just one atom. These black holes are very tiny but have the mass of a large mountain! So how do black holes form? Scientists think the smallest black holes formed when the universe began. Stellar black holes are made when the center of a very big star collapses. When this happens, it causes a supernova.
Parallel jets provide astronomers with some of the most powerful evidence that a supermassive black hole lurks in the heart of most galaxies. Some of these black holes appear to be active, gobbling up material from their surroundings and launching jets at ultra-high speeds, while others are quiescent, even dormant.
This artist’s conception of the core of an active galaxy shows the dusty donut-shaped surroundings, called a torus, and jets launching from its center. Magnetic fields are illustrated trapping the dust in the torus. These magnetic fields could be helping power the black hole hidden in the galaxy’s core by confining the dust in the torus and keeping it close enough to be gobbled up by the hungry black hole.
Credit: NASA/ @SOFIAtelescope/Lynette Cook
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