NGC 2681
NGC 2681
If you have every wondered what a super massive black hole looks like, you are looking at one now, or rather, the gravitational control of the black hole on its surrounding galaxy. Of course we can never physically observe the black hole itself since it reflects no visible light. At the center of this multiple barred and spiral galaxy is a black hole that contains the mass of some 60 millions suns, and all of this mass is compressed into an infinitesimally small point. The distance to NGC 2681 is about 55 million light years. Since the galaxy itself is pretty colorless, the image color has been oversaturated to show a bit of the color that is present. The stats for this image are as follows: RA: 08h 53m 32.6s, Dec: +51° 18' 52", Mag: 11.1 (B), Size: 3.6'x3.2', Class: (R')SAB(rs)0/a.
Optics: RC Optical System 20" F/8.2 (4165.6 mm Focal Length) Date: December 2009
Camera: SBIG ST10XME with Adaptive Optics Location: Columbus, Texas
Exposure: LRGB = 250:80:70:100 minutes Imager: Kent E. Biggs