In this Hubble Space Telescope image, astronomers suggest that a ring of dusty material surrounding the black hole may be casting its shadow into space. According to this scenario, the interplay of light and shadow may occur when light blasted by the monster black hole strikes the dust ring, which is buried deep inside the core. Light streams through gaps in the ring, creating the brilliant cone-shaped rays. However, denser patches in the disk block some of the light, casting long, dark shadows through the galaxy.
However, the bright rays and dark shadows appearing in IC 5063 are happening on a vastly larger scale, shooting across at least 36,000 light-years.
The observations were taken on March 7 and Nov. 25, 2019, by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys.
图片来源: NASA, ESA, STScI and W.P. Maksym (CfA)