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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 1:21 EDT
Feeding the Monster -  New VLT Images Reveal the
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Feeding the Monster - New VLT Images Reveal the Surroundings of a Super-massive Black Hole

October 26, 2005
This image is a colour-composite image of the central 5,500 light-years wide region of the spiral galaxy NGC 1097, obtained with the NACO adaptive optics on the VLT. More than 300 star forming regions - white spots in the image - are distributed along a ring of dust and gas in the image. At the centre of the ring there is a bright central source where the active galactic nucleus and its super-massive black hole are located. The image was constructed by stacking J- (blue), H- (green), and Ks-band (red) images. North is up and East is to the left. The field of view is 24 x 29 arcsec2, i.e. less than 0.03% the size of the full moon!