This is an image I saw being used to illustrate an article on the BBC website, “Black hole blows huge gas bubble”, 8th July 2010. It’s an official image from NASA and I think quite obviously a piece of artwork produced digitally. I had an argument with a relative over this image as they were convinced this was a photo.
Looking around on the web I found some different images of this same black hole which are definitely photographic in nature.
The first one I found on the NASA website here clearly shows the location of the black hole and its appearance at several different wavelengths.
This image is from Nature magazine here and is used to illustrate the paper about this particular black hole. This is again photographic but it is much more difficult to interperate. I understand that the two yellow blobs at each end are part of the jets of material that the black hole is ejecting.
So the piece of space art is used to represent an object that can not be viewed directly at all and can only be detected when it interacts with other objects, making what might otherwise be an esoteric piece of news more interesting to the average person.