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Latest Messier 87 Stories

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2011-05-20 14:30:00

An international team, including NASA-funded researchers, using radio telescopes located throughout the Southern Hemisphere has produced the most detailed image of particle jets erupting from a supermassive black hole in a nearby galaxy. "These jets arise as infalling matter approaches the black hole, but we don't yet know the details of how they form and maintain themselves," said Cornelia Mueller, the study's lead author and a doctoral student at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in...

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2010-08-19 12:25:00

Astronomers studying this black hole and its effects have been struck by the remarkable similarities between it and a volcano in Iceland that made headlines earlier this year.At a distance of about 50 million light years, M87 is relatively close to Earth and lies at the center of the Virgo cluster, which contains thousands of galaxies. M87's location, coupled with long observations over Chandra's lifetime, has made it an excellent subject for investigations of how a massive black hole impacts...

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2009-07-02 13:35:00

High-resolution radio, gamma-ray observations reveal site of relativistic particle acceleration in galaxy M 87An international collaboration of 390 scientists reports the discovery of an outburst of very-high-energy (VHE) gamma radiation from the giant radio galaxy Messier 87 (M 87), accompanied by a strong rise of the radio flux measured from the direct vicinity of its super-massive black hole.The combined results give first experimental evidence that particles are accelerated to extremely...

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2009-05-20 09:45:00

Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have succeeded in measuring the size of giant galaxy Messier 87 and were surprised to find that its outer parts have been stripped away by still unknown effects. The galaxy also appears to be on a collision course with another giant galaxy in this very dynamic cluster. The new observations reveal that Messier 87's halo of stars has been cut short, with a diameter of about a million light-years, significantly smaller than expected, despite being...

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2009-04-14 09:40:00

A flare-up in a jet of matter blasting from a monster black hole is giving astronomers an incredible light show. The outburst is coming from a blob of matter, called HST-1, embedded in the jet, a powerful narrow beam of hot gas produced by a supermassive black hole residing in the core of the giant elliptical galaxy M87. HST-1 is so bright that it is outshining even M87's brilliant core, whose monster black hole is one of the most massive yet discovered. The glowing gas clump has taken...

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2008-08-05 12:10:00

Globular star clusters, dense bunches of hundreds of thousands of stars, have some of the oldest surviving stars in the universe. A new study of globular clusters outside our Milky Way Galaxy has found evidence that these hardy pioneers are more likely to form in dense areas, where star birth occurs at a rapid rate, instead of uniformly from galaxy to galaxy. Astronomers used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to identify over 11,000 globular clusters in the Virgo cluster of galaxies. Most are...

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2006-10-05 17:57:14

A gigantic sonic boom generated by a supermassive black hole has been found with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, along with evidence for a cacophony of deep sound. This discovery was made by using data from the longest X-ray observation ever of M87, a nearby giant elliptical galaxy. M87 is centrally located in the Virgo cluster of galaxies and is known to harbor one of the Universe's most massive black holes. Scientists detected loops and rings in the hot, X-ray emitting gas that permeates...

2006-01-13 07:33:27

A team of astronomers is announcing today that they have discovered a giant Milky Way-sized tunnel filled with high energy particles in a distant galaxy cluster. These new findings are of special interest to astronomers as they may provide the missing evolutionary link necessary to understand the cycle of birth and death, as well as the environmental impact, of radio jets which result from ravenous supermassive black holes within giant galaxies. The report is being presented to the American...


Latest Messier 87 Reference Libraries

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2010-09-16 15:18:29

The Virgo Cluster consists of galaxies at a distance of around 59 Mly away in the constellation Virgo. Containing between 1300 to 2000 galaxies the Virgo Cluster is the heart of the Local Supercluster. Its mass is estimated at 1.2 × 1015 M☉ out to 8 degrees of the cluster's center or a radius of about 2.2 Mpc. Most of the brighter galaxies in the cluster were discovered by Charles Messier in the late 1770's and early 1780's, including the giant elliptical Messier 87. Messier...

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2004-10-19 04:45:40

Virgo A Galaxy -- Discovered 1781 by Charles Messier. The giant elliptical galaxy M87, also called Virgo A, is one of the most remarkable objects in the sky. It is perhaps the dominant galaxy in the closest big cluster to us, the famous Virgo Cluster of galaxies (sometimes also called "Coma-Virgo cluster" which is more acurate, as it extends into constellation Coma), and lies at the distance of this cluster (about 60 million light-years). M87 lies well in the heart of the Virgo cluster...

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Word of the Day
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'