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Core of galaxy M87 seen by Hubble Space Telescope

Core of galaxy M87 seen by Hubble Space Telescope

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Credit

NASA / ESA / STSCI / H.FORD ET AL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / ESA / STSCI / H.FORD ET AL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

The core of the elliptical galaxy M87 (NGC 4486) seen from the Wide Field/Planetary Camera onboard the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). HST enabled the discovery of a stellar cusp in the core of M87 seen here as the brightest white spot. In this region the density of stars is 300 times greater than a normal elliptical galaxy. Current models suggest that a black hole of 2.6 billion solar masses lies in the stellar cusp of M87 & pulls all the stars in this region towards the centre. The black hole is powering the jet of plasma which departs from the nucleus & extends outwards for 4000 light years. North is at top right.

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