Sunday, April 16, 2006

Spaced out Sundays

It’s 13 billion light-years away in a dark area of the universe called the GOODS field (the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey field). It took the combined forces of the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Spitzer Space Telescope to uncover it.

This X-ray glow (shown blue) is from heated material falling into a supermassive black hole, a black hole that could be anywhere from a million-solar mass to a billion-solar mass in size.

Scientists believe that these oversized black holes were not born this large, but instead, grew to this size by feeding on gas and stars from nearby galaxies during the early formative years of the universe.

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