NASA’s Hubble telescope captures shadows formed by black hole

National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Hubble Space Telescope has captured large shadows formed by black hole. The dust disk around a massive black hole creates the shadow.

After studying the image, scientists found out that the shadows were stretched at least 36,000 light-years in each direction from the centre of the galaxy IC 5063, which is million light-years away from Earth.

“We think we’ve found evidence that there is probably dust all over the galaxy scattering light from the accreting black hole in the galaxy’s active nucleus, and that the light can illuminate almost the whole galaxy,” said astronomer Peter Maksym of the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The blazing core of the supermassive black hole resulted in light illuminating the galaxy. While the light was blocked by the dense patches of the dust ring around it, some of the light got leaked.

“We know that this galaxy recently had a merger with another galaxy and that could kick up dust everywhere. It’s also possible that the black hole jets are kicking up dust from near the nucleus.”

The Hubble Telescope captured the pictures on November 25, 2019. Judy Schmidt, an artist and amateur astronomer found the dark shadows on it in December when she reprocessed the recorded exposures.

She turned it into an amazing picture and shared it on Twitter where Maksym spotted it.

“I noticed the dark rays almost immediately after I’d opened the file in Photoshop and began working to enhance them to make sure what I thought I saw was there,” Schmidt recalls as she discovered cone-shaped shadows that were not clear in the original exposures.

“Even after I’d processed it, I kept blinking my eyes wondering if I was seeing what I thought I was seeing,” she added.