Images by Date
Images by Category
Solar System
Stars
White Dwarfs
Supernovas
Neutron Stars
Black Holes
Milky Way Galaxy
Normal Galaxies
Quasars
Galaxy Clusters
Cosmology/Deep Field
Miscellaneous
Images by Interest
Space Scoop for Kids
Multiwavelength
Sky Map
Constellations
3D Wall
Photo Blog
Top Rated Images
Image Handouts
Desktops
High Res Prints
Fits Files
Image Tutorials
Photo Album Tutorial
False Color
Cosmic Distance
Look-Back Time
Scale & Distance
Angular Measurement
Images & Processing
AVM/Metadata
Getting Hard Copies
Image Use Policy
Web Shortcuts
Chandra Blog
RSS Feed
Chandra Mobile
Chronicle
Email Newsletter
News & Noteworthy
Image Use Policy
Questions & Answers
Glossary of Terms
Download Guide
Get Adobe Reader
M87: A Nearby Galaxy Metropolis
M87


This image is a composite of visible (or optical), radio, and X-ray data of the giant elliptical galaxy, M87. M87 lies at a distance of 60 million light years and is the largest galaxy in the Virgo cluster of galaxies. Bright jets moving at close to the speed of light are seen at all wavelengths coming from the massive black hole at the center of the galaxy. It has also been identified with the strong radio source, Virgo A, and is a powerful source of X-rays as it resides near the center of a hot, X-ray emitting cloud that extends over much of the Virgo cluster. The extended radio emission consists of plumes of fast-moving gas from the jets rising into the X-ray emitting cluster medium.

In X-rays, M87 also reveals evidence for a series of outbursts from the central supermassive black hole. The loops and bubbles in the hot, X-ray emitting gas are relics of small outbursts from close to the black hole. Other interesting features in M87 are narrow filaments of X-ray emission, which may be due to hot gas trapped by magnetic fields. One of these filaments is over 100,000 light years long, and extends below and to the right of the center of M87 in almost a straight line.

The optical data of M87 were obtained with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys in visible and infrared filters (data courtesy of P. Cote, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, and E. Baltz, Stanford University). Wide-field optical data of the center of the Virgo Cluster were also provided by R. Gendler (Copyright Robert Gendler 2006). The X-ray data were acquired from the Chandra X-ray Observatory's Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS), and were provided by W. Forman (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) et al. The radio data were obtained by W. Cotton and also archive processing using the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Very Large Array (NRAO/VLA) near Socorro, New Mexico.

Fast Facts for M87:
Credit  X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/W. Forman et al.; Radio: NRAO/AUI/NSF/W. Cotton; Optical: NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), and R. Gendler
Release Date  August 05, 2008
Scale  Image is 11 arcmin across.
Category  Quasars & Active Galaxies, Groups & Clusters of Galaxies
Coordinates (J2000)  RA | Dec
Constellation  Virgo
Observation Date  9 observations between July 2002-Nov 2005
Observation Time  146 hours
Obs. ID  2707, 3717, 5826-28, 6186, 7210-12
Instrument  ACIS
Also Known As NGC 4486
Color Code  X-ray (blue); Optical (yellow); Radio (red)
Radio
Optical
X-ray
Distance Estimate  About 50 million light years
Visitor Comments (0)
Leave Your Comment

Name:

Email:

Comments:


 
 

Rules

Rate This Image

Rating: 2.2/5
(223 votes cast)
Download & Share

Desktops

1024x768 - 828.1 kb
1280x1024 - 1.1 MB
1680x1050 - 1.3 MB
More Information
Zoom: M87
More Images
Chandra X-ray Image of M87
Jpg, Tif
Illustration

More Images
Animation & Video
Tour of M87
Animation

More Animations
More Releases
M87
M87
(18 Aug 10)

M87
M87
(05 Oct 06)

M87
M87
(10 May 04)

Related Images
Perseus Cluster
Perseus Cluster
(09 Sep 03)

Centaurus A
Centaurus A
(09 Jan 08)

M87 Jet
M87 Jet
(26 Sep 01)

M87 Core
M87 Core
(29 Oct 04)

Related Information
Related Podcast
Top Rated Images
Perseus Cluster

Chandra Archive Collection

Eta Carinae




FaceBookTwitterYouTubeFlickr