Animation: Supernova producing a black hole
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Animation: Supernova producing a black hole

This animation shows how a black hole may have formed in SN 1979C. The collapse of a massive star is shown, after it has exhausted its fuel. A flash of light from a shock breaking through the surface of the star is then shown, followed by a powerful supernova explosion. The view then zooms into the center of the explosion. Red, slow-moving material in a disk is shown falling onto the white neutron star that formed when the star collapsed. The rate of infall onto the neutron star increases until the star collapses into a black hole. Matter should continue to fall into the black hole and generate bright X-ray emission for many years. (NASA/CXC/A.Hobart)

© 2010 NASA/CXC/A.Hobart