Latest Virgo Cluster Stories

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...

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...

2008-10-07 11:49:00

Astronomers studying new images of a nearby galaxy cluster have found evidence that high-speed collisions between large elliptical galaxies may prevent new stars from forming, according to a paper to be published in a November 2008 issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters. Led by Jeffrey Kenney, professor and chair of astronomy at Yale, the team saw a spectacular complex of warm gas filaments 400,000 light-years-long connecting the elliptical galaxy M86 and the spiral galaxy NGC 4438 in the...

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...

2006-04-06 11:59:14

First results from the Arecibo Galaxy Environment Survey (AGES) suggest the discovery of a new dark galaxy.  The AGES survey, which started in January 2006, is the most sensitive, large-scale survey of neutral hydrogen to date.  Neutral hydrogen is found in most galaxies and it is a key tool in the search for dark galaxies as it can be detected even when there are no stars or other radiation sources to "shine a light" on matter.  The new candidate dark galaxy is located near...

2005-09-21 14:39:56

CLEVELAND ­ -- Case Western Reserve University astronomers have captured the deepest wide-field image ever of the nearby Virgo cluster of galaxies, directly revealing for the first time a vast, complex web of "intracluster starlight" -- nearly 1,000 times fainter than the dark night sky -- filling the space between the galaxies within the cluster. The streamers, plumes and cocoons that make up this extremely faint starlight are made of stars ripped out of galaxies as they...

2005-02-24 00:45:00

PPARC -- A British-led team of astronomers have discovered an object that appears to be an invisible galaxy made almost entirely of dark matter - the first ever detected. A dark galaxy is an area in the universe containing a large amount of mass that rotates like a galaxy, but contains no stars. Without any stars to give light, it could only be found using radio telescopes. It was first seen with the University of Manchester's Lovell Telescope in Cheshire, and the sighting was confirmed with...

Latest Virgo Cluster Reference Libraries

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...

2010-09-13 16:56:08

The Coma Cluster (Abell 1656), along with the Leo Cluster, is one of two major clusters compromising the Coma Supercluster. It contains over 1000 identified galaxies. Most of the galaxies in the center of the Coma Cluster are elliptical galaxies including both dwarf and giant. However the center is dominated by NGC 4874 and NGC 4889, two giant elliptical galaxies. The brightest galaxies are visible, a few degrees north of the galactic pole, with an amateur telescope larger than 20 cm. The...

2010-09-08 16:10:01

Markarian's Chain is a stretch of galaxies forming part of the Virgo Cluster. The galaxies get their name because when viewed from earth they form a curved line. The other part of the name comes from the Armenian astrophysicist, B. E. Markarian. Markarian discovered their common proper motion in the mid 1970s. Member galaxies include M84 (NGC 4374), M86 (NGC 4406), NGC 4477, NGC 4473, NGC 4461, NGC 4458, NGC 4438 and NGC 4435. It's located at RA 12h 27m and Dec +13° 10"². Photo...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Virgo Cluster of Galaxies -- This giant agglomeration of galaxies is the nearest big cluster of galaxies, the largest proven structure in our intergalactic neighborhood, and the most remote cosmic objects with a physical connection to our own small group of galaxies, the Local Group, including our Milky Way galaxy. This structure is another discovery by Charles Messier, who noted behind his entry for M91 The Virgo Cluster is extremely rich in member galaxies, with over 2000 large and...

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
  • A murmuring sound; a rushing or whistling sound, like that of the wind; a deep sigh.
  • A gentle breeze; a waft; a breath.
  • Any rumor that engages general attention.
  • A cant or whining mode of speaking, especially in preaching or praying; the chant or recitative characteristic of the old Presbyterians in Scotland.
  • To make a rushing, whistling, or sighing sound; emit a hollow murmur; murmur or sigh like the wind.
  • To breathe in or as in sleep.
  • To utter in a whining or monotonous tone.
According to the OED, from the 16th century, this word is 'almost exclusively Scots and northern dialect until adopted in general literary use in the 19th.'