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Messier 87

  • IASbaba
  • November 9, 2021
  • 0
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Messier 87

Part of: Prelims and GS-III – Space

Context Scientists studying the galaxy Messier 87 (M87) – which surrounds the only black hole to have been imaged so far – have come up with a theoretical model of the jets of material emanating from M87.

Key takeaways 

  • The calculated images published in Nature Astronomy resemble closely what is observed, and help confirm Einstein’s theory of relativity.
  • Messier 87 (also known as Virgo A or NGC 4486, generally abbreviated to M87) is a supergiant elliptical galaxy with several trillion stars in the constellation Virgo.
  • One of the most massive galaxies in the local universe, it has a large population of globular clusters—about 15,000 compared with the 150–200 orbiting the Milky Way—and a jet of energetic plasma that originates at the core and extends at least 4,900 light-years, traveling at a relativistic speed.
  • It is one of the brightest radio sources in the sky and a popular target for both amateur and professional astronomers.

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