The internet is just chock full of interesting little bits, like these two sites devoted to Giambattista Nolli’s 1748 map of Rome, the Pianta Grande di Roma. It’s a helluva map, especially since it served as the basis for Roman government maps of the city until the 1970’s.
Look at these incredible images taken by the European Southern Observatory in Chile. It is an extreme close up of the galaxy NGC 1097, which lies about 45 million light years away in the direction of Fornax. It is a barred spiral galaxy with an active galactic core. That means astronomers believe a massive black hole lies at the center of this galaxy, much like our own Milky Way.
This is the full image of the galaxy…
And here is the extreme close up of the galaxy’s central core.
Clean up the image a bit to highlight the very center of the active core, and look! It’s a cosmic drainhole!