The center of nearby active galaxy IC 5063 contains a supermassive black hole.
As material approaches the black hole’s event horizon, massive amounts of radiation is released in all directions. But note the V shaped shadows emanating from the central core. Astronomers suggest that a ring of dusty material surrounds the black hole and may be casting its shadow into space by blocking some of this radiation. These dark shadows extend across at least 36,000 light-years.
Here we have the black hole at the center of the dwarf galaxy Henize 2-10, 30 million light-years away. This galaxy contains only one-tenth the number of stars found in our Milky Way. What’s unique here is that this black hole is located near a star-forming region with an outflow of gas moving at about 1.6 million km per hour (or 1 million miles per hour) towards the region. This flow is imbedded with a large number of new stars. This is the opposite effect of what’s seen in larger galaxies, with larger black holes, where material flowing away and into surrounding gas, heats the gas to the point where new star formation is not possible.
Quasars are brilliant beacons of intense light from the centers of distant galaxies. They are powered by supermassive black holes growing on infalling matter that unleashes massive amounts of radiation at the event horizon. They are scattered all across the sky and were most abundant 10 billion years ago. These Hubble images reveal two pairs of quasars that reside at the hearts of merging galaxies. These galaxies, however, cannot be seen because they are too faint, even for Hubble. These quasars will tighten their orbits until they eventually spiral together and coalesce, resulting in an even more massive, but solitary black hole.