Unfortunately, NASA is calling it a “wild creature of the dark” with an “eye-like object at its center.” Actually, it is a galaxy, which is plenty cool so they could do without the fancy-talk. Here’s the picture:

i-14d88e896707b2a9099eda560f3027fd-ssc2009-14a_SmNASA.jpg

This is Galaxy NGC 1097, and it is about 50 million light years away/ago. The bright Eye Of Sauron thing in the middle is a black hole surrounded by stars. If you look close, you’ll see a blue are where the black hole is. That is the invisible part of the black hole (enhanced, obviously) and the white zone are the stars crowded up to it.

Stuff gets pulled in towards the black hole, mushes all together, turns into new stars, and gets sent out into the galaxy. Or, falls into the black hole and is never seen again.

The big red swirly things are lines of new stars.

More details here.

Comments

  1. #1 The Science Pundit
    July 23, 2009

    Spitzer takes some of the most beautiful space pictures I’ve ever seen.

  2. #2 Wyatt
    July 23, 2009

    Much better doing this than being governor of New York.

  3. #3 Lilian Nattel
    July 23, 2009

    I subscribe to astropics so I get something like that in my reader every day. It’s awesome just as it is.

Current ye@r *