GEMINI OBSERVATORY / AURA ILLUSTRATION BY LYNETTE COOK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEMINI OBSERVATORY / AURA ILLUSTRATION BY LYNETTE COOK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
M87 galactic black hole. Illustration of a possible telescopic view of the black hole at the heart of the galaxy M87. Gas swirls around the black hole in an accretion disc, being pulled inwards by the intense gravitational field. The black area at centre is the black hole itself, defined by the event horizon beyond which nothing, not even light, can escape. The bright blue jet (upper left) is gas that was channelled away from the black hole, powered by the immense forces present. M87 is located 60 million light years from Earth in the constellation Virgo. It is one of the largest and brightest known galaxies, containing several trillion stars.
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