Watch a Supermassive Black Hole Spew Gas at Incredible Speeds

Hubble has been observing the activity around one supermassive black hole for 13 years

By on August 23rd, 2013 19:51 GMT

Hubble has been one of NASA's greatest tools for a couple of decades now and, despite the initial problems, the space telescope has proven invaluable to our understanding of the universe. To this day, the telescope is providing interesting new data and findings.

In fact, in some cases, its age is actually a good thing. For 13 years, Hubble has been making observations of a supermassive black hole as it spews superheated gas at massive speeds.

"Most of these black holes are believed to have gone through an active phase, and black-hole powered jets from this active phase play a key role in the evolution of galaxies," Eileen T. Meyer of the Space Telescope Science Institute said.

"By studying the details of this process in the nearest galaxy with an optical jet, we can hope to learn more about galaxy formation and black hole physics in general," she added.

The images collected over the 400 observations between 1995 and 2003 have been compiled in a short movie which gives astronomers a new understanding of how the massive objects interact with the matter around them.
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