ALMA Probes Surroundings of Giant Black Hole

October 16, 2013
The main image, showing the nearby active galaxy NGC 1433, comes from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The coloured structures near the centre shown in the insert are from recent ALMA observations that have revealed a spiral shape, as well as an unexpected outflow, for the first time.

A group of astronomers that includes Eva Schinnerer from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy have used the telescope array ALMA in Chile to image the center of the active galaxy NGC1433. Their observations reveal a surprising spiral structure made of material making its way towards the galaxy's central supermassive black hole, and also the most detailed view yet of an outflow of material around such a black hole.

More details:

ESO press release

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