The Giant Elliptical Galaxy NGC 4261 is one of the twelve brightest galaxies in the Virgo cluster, located 45 million light-years away. Photographed in visible light (white) the galaxy appears as a fuzzy disk of hundreds of billions of stars. The giant disk of cold gas and dust fuels a possible black hole at the galaxy's core of the galaxy.
Estimated to be 300 light-years across, the disk is tipped enough (about 60 degrees) to provide astronomers with a clear view of the bright hub, which presumably harbors the black hole.
Credit: Wide-Field and Planetary Camera of the Hubble Space Telescope and National Radio Astronomy Observatory.
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