A close-up view of Messier 77’s active galactic nucleus

This image, captured with the MATISSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer, shows the very inner region of the active galaxy Messier 77. Active galactic nuclei are extremely energetic sources powered by supermassive black holes. By making extraordinarily detailed observations of the active centre of this galaxy, a team of astronomers detected a thick ring of cosmic dust and gas hiding a supermassive black hole. The black dot shows the most probable position of the black hole, while the two ellipses show the extent, seen in projection, of the thick inner dust ring (dashed) and extended dust disc.


ESO/Jaffe, Gámez-Rosas et al.

About the Image

Id: eso2203b
Type: Observation
Release date: 16 February 2022, 17:00
Related releases: eso2203
Size: 708 x 676 px

About the Object


Position (RA): 2 42 40.70
Position (Dec): 0&deg 0′ 47.71″
Field of view: 0.01 x 0.01 arcminutes
Orientation: North is -0.0° left of vertical

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