M87 and environs


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By
Catalog
Obj Type
Location
Date Taken:
Smoot
Messier 87
Galaxy
Mayhill, NM
04-22-2009
Description

 

This image show the supergiant elliptical galaxy M87 and several other galaxies in its environs.  This galaxy is located about 55 million light years away and has the mass of about 1 trillion suns.  The galaxy also has a superluminal jet and is surrounded by somewhere in the neighborhood of 12,000 elliptical clusters.  A blowup of this image showing M87 only can be seen at (you might have to add the ?img=284 at the end of the link on your browser):

www.starshadows.com/gallery/display.cfm?img=284

In this blowup, one can easily see the 5000+ light year jet as well and many of the globular clusters surrounding M87.

This galaxy also contains a supermassive black hole in its center (weighing several billion solar masses) and is a rich source of both gamma and X-rays. 

 

The other large elliptical galaxies in this image are (from top left down to the right) NGC4476, NGC4478, and NGC4486 (note, this last comes from TheSky6 but it also identifies M87 as NGC4486 -- I suspect there is a 4486A and 4486B issue here).  Many other smaller galaxies are also present in the image. 

Technical Details
Exposure Time:
5 hrs Ha and 1.5 hrs each LRGB
Camera:
SBIG STL-11000M
Telescope:
RCOS 16 inch f/8.7 Ritchey-Chretien
Mount:
Software Bisque Paramount ME
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Used with permission, No reproduction of these images are permitted without written approval from Smoot.