I See You!

I See You!

Now sure, the far off NGC 1097 galaxy looks, to the untrained observer, like the eye of some angry God, glaring down upon us disapprovingly.

But it’s not. It’s something even cooler.

What looks to be the pupil in this image, captured by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, is actually an enormous black hole that weighs in at more than 100 million times the mass of our sun.

The bright white glow it produces stems from the fact that it is surrounded by a star nursery, where new stars are being formed at an astonishing rate.

Also notable in this fantastic image is the large blue dot to the left of center, nestled between the two leftmost spiral arms. This object is NGC 1097’s smaller companion galaxy, which may be “poking through” the larger galaxy, as researcher George Helou puts it, or might just be nicely placed to say cheese at the moment. What it is not, is a cataract on the eye of an all powerful deity.

So just sit back, appreciate how beautiful and strange the universe really is, and remember – although God almost certainly disapproves of a great many of your lifestyle choices, he is not staring at you from 50 million light years away. Probably.

Sleep tight!

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