NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Images the Dense Nucleus of Galaxy M32
February 5, 2005
Astronomers report that they have found new evidence that a black hole weighing 3 million times the mass of the Sun exists at the center of the nearby elliptical galaxy M32, based on images obtained with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The images show that the stars in M32 become extremely concentrated toward the nucleus. This central structure resembles the gravitational "signature" of a massive black hole. The presence of a black hole in an ordinary galaxy like M32 may mean that inactive black holes are common to the centers of galaxies. The new HST images show that M32 is an interesting "laboratory" for testing theories of the formation of massive black holes.
Topics: Technology Internet, Messier 32, Andromeda constellation, Space exploration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Elliptical galaxy, Black hole, Andromeda's satellite galaxies, Andromeda Galaxy, Galaxy, Hubble Space Telescope