Weekend Feature: “Eye-of-Sauron” Galaxy -Bright Blue Core Created by Actively Growing Super-Massive Black Hole

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43 million light years away from Earth, NGC 4151, named by astronomers, Eye of Sauron, after the all-seeing symbol of evil in The Lord Of The Rings, is one of the nearest galaxies to Earth to contain an actively-growing black hole. Powerful X-rays generated by the super-massive black hole produced the bright blue 'pupil' of the eye at the galaxy center. The red halo around the 'pupil' is made up of hydrogen atoms.


NGC 4151 is one of the nearest galaxies to Earth to contain an actively-growing black hole. It offers astronomers one of the best chances to study the interaction between a super-massive black hole and the surrounding gas of its host galaxy.

The new image was released last night by the American space agency NASA's Chandra X-ray Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Daily Galaxy via Chandra X-Ray Center

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