The bright elliptical radio galaxy Messier 87 (NGC 4486), at the center of the Virgo Cluster, is perhaps best known for the synchrotron jet seen here. This image, taken in red light using a TI CCD at the Kitt Peak 2.1m telescope, is shown with a logarithmic stretch to show the bright et abd the speckling of globular clusters around the core of M87. These images were taken with small 0.18-arcsecond pixels specifically to test deconvolution techniques in the pre-Hubble days. Subtracting the galaxy starlight, it worked up to a point in improving detail in the jet:
The jet has been shown in exquisite detail in a Hubble Heritage picture.
M87 is also one of the strongest cases for supermassive black holes in galactic nuclei, as shown by dynamical measurements of gas near the core.
In a wider context, M87 is at the lower left (southeastern) corner of this image showing part of the Virgo cluster of galaxy, including the curving set of galaxies known as Markarian's Chain. This composite from Sloan gr filters was made using the UA Crimson Dragon wide-field system temporarily deployed on Kitt Peak.
Last changes: 9/2018 © 2001-2018