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Giant galaxy around the giant black hole

Giant galaxy around the giant black hole

The M87 galaxy, shown here from NASA's Spacecraft Space Telescope, is home to a supermassive black hole that spews two planes of material into space with near-light velocity. The entrance shows a close look at the shock waves created by the two planes. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / IPAC

On April 10, 2019, the Event Horizon (EHT) telescope discovered the first image of the black hole horizon, an area over which light can not escape the huge black hole gravity. This huge black hole, with a mass of 6.5 billion Suns, is located in the elliptical galaxy Messier 87 (M87). EHT is an international collaboration whose support in the United States includes the National Science Foundation.

This image of the NASA Spacecraft Space Telescope displays the entire M87 galaxy in infrared light. In contrast, the EHT image relied on light in radio wavelengths and showed the black hole shadow against the background of the high energy material around it.

Located about 55 million light-years from Earth, the M87 has been the subject of astronomical studies for more than 100 years and has been filmed by many NASA observatories, including the Hubble Space Telescope, Handra Observatory of Handra and NuSTAR. In 1918, astronomer Heber Curtis for the first time spotted a "curious blank beam" stretching from the center of the galaxy. This light-weight aircraft with high-energy material, produced from the disc of a fast-revolving material around the black hole, is visible in more wavelengths of light than radio waves through X-rays. When the particles in the jet affect the interstellar medium (a rare material that meets the space between the stars in the M87), they create a shock wave that radiates with infrared and radio wavelengths of light, but no visible light. In the image of Spitzer, the shock wave is more pronounced than the plane itself.

Giant galaxy around the giant black hole

The M87 galaxy looks like the hazy, blue spaciousness of this image from NASA's Space Telescope Spitzer. In the center of the galaxy is a supermassive black hole that spews two planes of material into space. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / IPAC

The illuminated plane, which is located to the right of the center of the galaxy, travels almost directly to Earth. Its brightness is amplified due to its high speed in our direction, but more so because scientists call it "relativistic effects" that occur because the material on the plane moves near the speed of light. The plane's trajectory is slightly complemented by our line of sight with respect to the galaxy, so we can still see part of the plane's length. The shock wave begins around the point where the jet is curved downward, emphasizing the regions where moving particles collide with gas in the galaxy and amuse themselves.

The second plane, however, moves so fast away from us that the relativistic effects make it invisible at all wavelengths. But the shock wave it creates in the interstellar medium can still be seen here.

Located on the left side of the center of the galaxy, the shock wave looks like an inverted letter "V." Until it is visible in optical images, the lobe can be seen in radio waves, as shown in this picture by the numerous observatory of National Radio Astronomy.

Giant galaxy around the giant black hole

This wide-angle image of the M87 galaxy was taken over by Spitzer's NASA Cosmic Telescope. At the top of the entrance are two explosive blows, created by a plane arising from the supermassive black hole of the galaxy. The Event Horizon telescope recently took an extensive picture of the silhouette of that black hole, shown in the second panel. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Collaboration for a horizon telescope for events

By combining observations in infrared, radio waves, visible light, X-rays and extremely energetic gamma rays, scientists can study the physics of these powerful planes. Scientists are still striving for a solid theoretical understanding of how gas is drawn into black holes creating outbound planes.

The infrared wavelengths of 3.6 and 4.5 microns are represented in blue and green, showing the distribution of the stars, while the dust characteristics that shine a light of 8.0 microns are shown in red. The picture was made during the initial "cold" mission of Spitzer.

The faded spirit of a long dead star

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The big galaxy around the giant black hole (2019, April 26)
taken on April 26, 2019

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