Page last updated at 18:35 GMT, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 19:35 UK

Animation of an active galaxy

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The centres of many galaxies are extremely bright, emitting huge amounts of energy.

These powerful galactic cores are powered by huge black holes.

These "supermassive" black holes contain millions or even billions of times more material than our Sun.

These active galaxies shoot out huge jets of matter that travel great distances at close to the speed of light.

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