Tale of Two Black Holes

Three panels show the same region of sky in different wavelengths of light. On the left is a high-energy X-ray image, which has a bright white spot at the center with a halo of reds and yellows. The halo is brightest on the left side of the white central spot. On the right is the optical light image, which shows two cloudy ovals in shards of white, pale blue and red coming together. Where they meet the image is very bright. Also in the image are a few background spots of light on the black background. In the central image, the X-ray and optical images are shown together, so we see the bright spot where the galaxies come together surrounded by the red X-ray haze.
January 8, 2015
Historical DateJanuary 8, 2015
  • english

The real monster black hole is revealed in this image from NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) of colliding galaxies Arp 299. In the center panel, the NuSTAR high-energy X-ray data appear in various colors overlaid on a visible-light image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The panel on the left shows the NuSTAR data alone, while the visible-light image is on the far right.