Astronomers snap black hole murder in graphic detail (video)

Sharif Sakr
S. Sakr|05.23.11

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Astronomers snap black hole murder in graphic detail (video)
We tend to imagine a black hole sucking everything around it straight into oblivion. The truth, however, is even more gruesome. Astronomers have just captured an ultra hi-res image of our neighbouring galaxy, Centaurus A, and it helps to reveal what actually happens. Matter is yanked helplessly towards a black hole at the galaxy's core, but it refuses to die quietly. For some unknown reason, it erupts as it falls, spewing out vast plumes of particles -- like blood from celestial murder. These death throes emit radio waves, allowing us to witness them using radio telescopes even though we are 12 million light-years away. If only we were closer; if only we could intervene. Alas, all we can do is watch the video after the break and hit the source links for a fuller explanation -- though, admittedly, none of those sound like awful options.

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