Located some 150 million light-years from Earth, NGC 922 is admittedly a little far for a quick New Year's Eve getaway. But as this Hubble image reveals, the views are great, just so long as you avoid the black holes.
Situated in the constellation of Fornax, NGC 922 is home to several large black holes. At least seven of the black holes detected in the galaxy are thought to be at least ten times as massive as our Sun, which makes them quite massive for black holes of the stellar-sized class. NGC 922 is what's known as a ring galaxy, meaning that its stars are arranged in, well, a ring. And just how did that ring form? NASA explains:
NGC 922 is a ring galaxy created by the collision of a large and small galaxy about 300 million years ago. Like a rock thrown into a pond, the ancient collision sent ripples of high density gas out from the impact point near the center that partly condensed into stars. Pictured above is NGC 922 with its beautifully complex ring along the left side, as imaged recently by the Hubble Space Telescope. Observations of NGC 922 with the Chandra X-ray Observatory, however, show several glowing X-ray knots that are likely large black holes. The high number of massive black holes was somewhat surprising as the gas composition in NGC 922 — rich in heavy elements — should have discouraged almost anything so massive from forming.
Via NASA APOD. Click on the image up top for a closer look.