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Galaxy M87

Galaxy M87

R860/0057

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Credit

NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Galaxy M87 with a jet (white) emerging from its centre. The jet is thought to be produced by strong electromagnetic forces created by matter swirling toward a supermassive black hole at the centre of the galaxy. These forces pull gas and magnetic fields away from the black hole along its axis of rotation in a narrow jet. Galaxy M87 also called Virgo A or NGC 4486, is found in the constellation Virgo. It is 50 million light years away and was discovered and catalogued by Charles Messier on 18 March 1781. Image taken by the Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS) aboard Nasa's Chandra X-ray observatory.

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