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Cosmic Explosions
MARCH 2007
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Photo caption by Neil Shea
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No Escape
Image by Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Simulation: Andrew Hamilton, JILA and University of Colorado. Background: National Center for Supercomputing Applications

In death, a supermassive star sometimes collapses into a black hole. This computer image shows how the immense gravity of the hole acts as a lens, distorting background starlight. Although black holes are invisible, astronomers have detected radiation from their surroundings—evidence of the dark fate awaiting some stars.

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