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

This image was actually taken back in the mid 2007 and I just thought it’s worth sharing again.

The inset is the eclipse of black hole captured serendipitously during the observations of the galaxy NGC 1365 at Chandra X-Ray Observatory. NGC 1365 which is also known as the Great Barred Spiral Galaxy is about 56 million light-years away in the constellation Fornax, it has a diameter about 200,000 light years and has a bar-shaped structure.

NCG 1365 contains active galactic nucleus (AGN) and the black hole is situated in its center. Scientists believe the black hole is nurtured by a steady steam of material and the material which is just about to be assimilated into a black hole should be heated to million of degrees before passing over the event horizon, or the point of no return. This results in formation of X-rays around the central black hole in NGC 1365.

The eclipse of black hole is seen cocooned by a dense cloud of gas which blocks high-energy x-rays from material close to the black hole. See the gallery below:

[Source: Chandra X-Ray Observatory]