PIA16114: Quasar Drenched in Water Vapor (Artist's Concept)
 Product Size:  1259 x 944 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  NASA/ESA 
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA16114.tif (3.567 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA16114.jpg (154.9 kB)

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This artist's concept illustrates a quasar, or feeding black hole, similar to APM 08279+5255, where astronomers discovered huge amounts of water vapor. Gas and dust likely form a torus around the central black hole, with clouds of charged gas above and below. X-rays emerge from the very central region, while thermal infrared radiation is emitted by dust throughout most of the torus. While this figure shows the quasar's torus approximately edge-on, the torus around APM 08279+5255 is likely positioned face-on from our point of view.

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