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The StarChild Black Holes poster contains eight images which represent various artists' conceptions of different aspects of black holes. Below we give some additional information about each of the eight images.

Image #1
An artist's rendition of a binary system with an accretion disk. The accretion disk is formed as matter from the companion star is pulled into the black hole.

Image #2
This image is an artist's depiction of an active galaxy showing the supermassive black hole at its center. Particle jets can be seen streaming out perpendicular to the disk. This material streams away from the black hole just before it crosses the event horizon.

Image #3
An artist's rendition of the gravitational lensing effect that occurs when a black hole is located between the viewer and a light source (in this case, distant stars). The strong gravity of the black hole bends the path of the starlight to make the distant star appear to be located in a different place than it actually is.

Image #4
A depiction of the path a photon (or quantum of light) might follow as it spirals into the black hole.

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Imagine the Universe is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

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Acting Project Leader: Dr. Barbara Mattson
All material on this site has been created and updated between 1997-2012.

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