NGC 1365

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Chandra X-ray
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NGC 1365: A spiral galaxy about 60 million light years from Earth in the constellation of Fornax.
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/INAF/Risaliti Optical: ESO/VLT)

Caption: The bright X-ray source in the middle of Chandra's image of NGC 1365 (inset) reveals the position of the supermassive black hole at the galaxy's center (shown in context of optical data). The disk of material feeding this black hole produces copious amount of X-rays, but is too small to be resolved directly with a telescope. However, a serendipitous eclipse of this black hole and disk by a dense cloud within NGC 1365, which blocked the high-energy X-rays, allowed astronomers to measure the size of the disk.

Scale: X-ray: 1.2 arcmin per side; Optical: 6.5 arcmin per side.

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory