Black Hole Week 2023

May 1 to May 5 2023
Hubble shared new images of active galactic nuclei — extremely bright central regions of galaxies that host supermassive black holes — as NASA marked its annual Black Hole Week!

Bright-white galaxy stretching across the center of the frame from left to right. The galaxy's core is brightest at image center. Filaments of reddish-brown gas and dust follow the arc of the galaxy's curve. All on a black background dotted with stars.

Black Hole Week 2023

A bright galaxy seen nearly edge on sits against a black background dotted with stars and distant galaxies. The center of the galaxy is extremely bright white in color. The brightness of the galaxy tapers off toward its outer edges. Dark dust filaments are s

Hubble Observes an In-between Galaxy

Lenticular galaxy, NGC 3489, has an extremely bright active galactic nucleus that emits radiation across the entire electromagnetic spectrum as its black hole devours material.

Bright white, pink, and blue stars and gas, concentrated in the lower left of the frame. They spiral outward from the lower-left corner. Black background.

Hubble Gazes at the Home of an Enormous Black Hole

NGC 4395 is about 14 million light-years away. It is one of the closest and dimmest known Seyfert galaxies.

Two blue-white, comma-shaped galaxies: at upper-right and lower-left of center. Streams of diffuse gas stretch between them. Areas of reddish-brown dust dot galaxy at left, less so on galaxy at right. Black background dotted with stars, distant galaxies.

Hubble Captures Extraordinarily Bright Interacting Galaxies

These interacting galaxies, known as AM 1214-255, hold active galactic nuclei, or AGNs. 

Two bright, oval blobs of stars. One right below image center, the other to the upper left. These blobs are galaxies with bright white centers that dims toward their edges. Black background dotted with stars.

Hubble Spots an Energetic Galaxy

NGC 547 is an elliptical galaxy that sits about 250 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Cetus. 

Lower left: Bright-white sphere of stars that is more diffuse toward its edges. Band of brown streaks arcs from the sphere's lower left to upper right where a face-on barred spiral galaxy shines in the distance. Black background dotted with stars.

Hubble Views a Beautiful Luminous Galaxy

Lenticular galaxy, NGC 5283, is also a Seyfert galaxy.

Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Lead Producer: James Leigh

Hubble Science: Monster Black Holes are Everywhere

Hubble found that supermassive black holes lie at the heart of nearly every galaxy.

Before Hubble, astronomers theorized the existence of supermassive black holes, but they had no conclusive evidence. 

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Computer simulation of a supermassive black hole at the core of a galaxy. Center is a black circle. Surrounding the black circle are arcs of red, blue, orange, and white. Further out from the circle are blotches of red, blue, orange, and white representing celestial objects.
This computer-simulated image shows a supermassive black hole at the core of a galaxy. The black region in the center represents the black hole’s event horizon, where no light can escape the massive object’s gravitational grip. The black hole’s powerful gravity distorts space around it like a funhouse mirror. Light from background stars is stretched and smeared as the stars skim by the black hole.
NASA, ESA, and D. Coe, J. Anderson, and R. van der Marel (STScI)