PIA23687: Animation of Black Hole Disk Flare in OJ 287
 Mission:  Spitzer Space Telescope
 Instrument:  Spitzer Space Telescope
 Product Size:  5120 x 2880 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA23687.tif (25.34 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA23687.jpg (648 kB)

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This animation shows two massive black holes in the OJ 287 galaxy. The smaller black hole orbits the larger one, which remains stationary in the animation and is surrounded by a disk of gas. When the smaller black hole crashes through the disk, it produces a flare brighter than 1 trillion stars. But the smaller black hole's orbit is elongated and moving relative to the disk, causing the flares to occur irregularly.

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