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Black Hole Is Most Massive Known - A Real Whopper!

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Author Topic: Black Hole Is Most Massive Known - A Real Whopper!  (Read 74 times)
Bianca
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« on: June 09, 2009, 07:44:36 am »










Why M87 matters



M87 is 50 million light-years away. Nearly three decades ago, it was one of the first galaxies suggested to harbor a central black hole. Now astronomers think that most large galaxies, including our own Milky Way, have supermassive black holes at their centers.


M87 also has an active jet shooting light out of the galaxy's core, created where matter swirls closer to the black hole and approaches the speed of light, then combines with tremendous magnetic fields. The spat-out material helps astronomers understand how black holes attract and gobble up matter, a sloppy process in which all is not consumed.


These factors make M87 "the anchor for supermassive black hole studies," Gebhardt said.


While the new mass of M87 is based on a model, recent observations from the Gemini North Telescope in Hawaii and the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile support the model findings.


The study of M87's mass will also be detailed later this summer in the journal Astrophysical Journal.





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