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Black Hole Disk Flare in Galaxy OJ 287

This artwork shows two massive black holes in the OJ 287 galaxy. The smaller black hole orbits the larger one, which remains stationary 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.