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HubbleSite Hubble Finds a New Black Hole - and Unexpected New Mysteries

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Space Telescope Science

Confirming the presence of yet another super-massive black hole in the universe, astronomers using the Hubble telescope have found unexpected mysteries. The black hole and an 800-light-year-wide, spiral-shaped disk of dust fueling it are slightly offset from the center of the host galaxy, NGC 4261.

Prior to Hubble observations, astronomers did not think dust was common in elliptical galaxies like NGC 4261, which were thought to have stopped making stars long ago due to the absence of the requisite raw materials: gas and dust. However, Hubble is showing that dust and dust disks are common in the centers of elliptical galaxies.

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