From the February 2004 issue

Massive stars merge

By | Published: February 1, 2004 | Last updated on May 18, 2023
This image of an 800-light-year-wide spiral-shaped disk of dust is fueling a massive black hole in the center of galaxy NGC 4261. Located 100 million light-years away, the striking geometric disk was first identified in Hubble Space Telescope observations made in 1992.
L. Ferrarese / STScI / NASA
Computer simulations are the major tool for astronomers working on the problem of making big black holes out of little ones. Movies at this Vassar University web site show simulations of the merger of two massive stars.