These Stars May Look Mellow But They're Resisting a Huge Black Hole

By Lily Newman on at

Nothing is ever as tranquil as it seems. This image is pretty and has lots of fun, trippy colours. But all of that variation is being produced by gas, dust and other matter as whole galaxies fall into a supermassive black hole. Created from Hubble data, the image shows the cosmic tug-of-war going on in the Perseus Cluster of Galaxies 230 million light years away.

The central galaxy, NGC 1275, has the black hole at its center, and produces radio waves, x-rays and huge filaments of glowing gas as matter enters the black hole. The filaments are preserved by strong magnetic fields without which they would not withstand the collisions happening all over the galaxy. As with any neighborhood, there's lots of drama here. [Astronomy Picture of the Day]

These Stars May Look Mellow But They're Resisting A Huge Black Hole