Accretion Disc

Starting from the cooler, outer edges of the accretion disc, you fly up and in towards the centre, where you can see the `monster' lurking at the heart of every quasar - a supermassive black hole with the mass of approximately 100 million Suns. The gas which forms the accretion disc eventually spirals down until it becomes part of the black hole itself - and releasing up to half of its rest-mass energy in doing so. This is the most efficient form of energy generation known in the Universe.

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This page written by Liz Puchnarewicz (
Last modified 17th March 1998