Thursday, July 23, 2009

Strange Eye-Shaped Galaxy Has Black-Hole Iris


Wired.com: "Not to be outdone by the 10th anniversary of its sibling, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope delivered this crazy looking eye-shaped galaxy image.
The iris of the eye is actually a ring of stars surrounding the area around an enormous, invisible black hole that is around 100 million times the mass of the sun and far larger than our galaxy’s central black hole. The stars show up white and the space around the black hole is blue in this color-coded infrared image.
“The ring itself is a fascinating object worthy of study because it is forming stars at a very high rate,” Kartik Sheth, an astronomer at NASA’s Spitzer Science Center, said in a press release."

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