That's a black hole jet, and for scale, the bright dot it's coming from is the entire Messier 87 galaxy. It's one of the largest and closest galaxies to Earth, and that jet makes it look like a little bit of twinkle. The plasma jet is over 5,000 light-years long. Over 1,500 parsecs. That's the sort of distance that would make the Millennium Falcon say, "Let's just get a job as a postman."
While the black hole consumes matter swirling in around its equator, it also fires polar beams at the rest of the universe at close to the speed of light. The physics involved are still being studied, but are generally agreed to involve turning electromagnetism and stellar hydrodynamics up until the knobs break off and punch holes in the fabric of space-time.
Then there's the black hole firing an intergalactic plasma cannon.
X-ray: NASA/CXC/ CfA/D.Evans et al.; Optical/UV: NASA/ STScI; Radio: NSF/VLA/CfA/D.Evans et al., STFC/JBO/MERLIN
"Well, honey, when a boy being of pure energy and a girl being of pure energy love each other very much ..."
That's 3C321, a pair of galaxies where one is blasting hell both into and out of the other. The lower left pink (X-ray) galaxy's central black hole is aimed so that its jet hits the blue (radio wave) one. Which means that a cosmic fire hose of gamma rays, X-rays, and relativistic particle cannonry blast across the 20,000 light-years between the two. But that's the black hole equivalent of Bruce Lee's one-inch punch. And that is the most ass-kicking sentence in existence. The pink/blue bright spot is where this jet is slamming into the side of an entire galaxy, flensing any planets of at least their atmosphere and causing cosmic levels of kickass.
This is the black hole that even NASA scientists call the "Death Star," and these are people who refer to stellar detonations as "events." Because when fiction makes a Death Star, it's much smaller than the real thing.
When reality does it, it's BIGGER.
When he isn't marveling at the real universe, Luke fights aliens in 6 Signs Your Love of StarCraft Goes Too Far. As an earthly achievement, he explains 5 Ways to Save Olympic Wrestling. Luke also tumbles and responds to every single tweet.
For more spectacular space insanity, check out 11 Deep Space Photos You Won't Believe Aren't Photoshopped and 6 Badass Space Landings Humanity Totally Nailed.