A bright star-forming ring that surrounds the heart of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1097, a Seyfert galaxy. The larger-scale structure of the galaxy is barely visible. Its comparatively dim spiral arms, which surround its heart in a loose embrace, reach out beyond the edges of this frame. This face-on galaxy, lying 45 million light-years away from Earth in the southern constellation of Fornax (The Furnace), is particularly attractive for astronomers. Lurking at the very center of the galaxy, a supermassive black hole 100 million times the mass of our Sun is gradually sucking in the matter around it. The area immediately around the black hole shines powerfully with radiation coming from the material falling in, Reuters said.