October 19, 2005
European Southern Observatory
Near-infrared images of the active galaxy NGC 1097, obtained with the NACO adaptive optics instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope, disclose with unprecedented detail a complex central network of filamentary structure spiralling down to the centre of the galaxy. These observations provide astronomers with new insights on how super-massive black holes lurking inside galaxies get fed.
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.
Credit: Image courtesy of European Southern Observatory
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European Southern Observatory. "Feeding The Monster." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 October 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051018223035.htm>.
European Southern Observatory. (2005, October 19). Feeding The Monster. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 12, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051018223035.htm
European Southern Observatory. "Feeding The Monster." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051018223035.htm (accessed March 12, 2014).