Supergiant galaxy M 87 with an “aggressive” black hole

(ORDO NEWS) — Here is an x-ray image of the supergiant elliptical galaxy Messier 87 (M 87) , 53.5 million light-years away from Earth. The image was taken by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.

The bright stripe in the center is a jet of gas heated to millions of degrees Celsius. This jet spans over 50,000 light-years, comparable to the radius of the Milky Way.

What the hell is going on in M ​​87?

Hiding at the heart of M 87 is a supermassive black hole , which is also extremely “aggressive” due to the abundance of matter that surrounds it. It is this feature of the black hole that made M 87 the target for the first-ever image (below) of a black hole’s silhouette, which was released on April 10, 2019.

The image of the black hole was taken using the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) radio telescope, which is about the size of our planet.

Supergiant galaxy M 87 with an aggressive black hole 2

The thing is that the EHT is a global network of radio telescopes located in different parts of the Earth. Their joint work allowed to achieve an unprecedented result, proving that black holes are real astronomical objects, and not the hypothetical “things” predicted by Albert Einstein.

It is worth noting that similar behavior of supermassive black holes is also observed in other galaxies (for example, Perseus A ).

This suggests that episodic superflares of supermassive black holes are a common occurrence for giant galaxies, determining the growth rate of the galaxies themselves and their central black holes.

We are very lucky that the Milky Way is a relatively small galaxy, and our supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* is a low-activity object.


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