M87 is a giant massive type E1 elliptical galaxy that is one of the largest members of the Virgo Galaxy Cluster. M87 has a supermassive black hole at its core that is a source of radio emission and X-ray emission. The bright radio source is called Virgo A, or 3C 274. A jet can be seen coming from the core of the galaxy, which is undoubtably caused by the black hole. The jet is about 4100 light-years in length. The radio emission, X-ray emission and jet are all the result of material that is being consumed by the supermassive black hole. M87 was discovered in 1781 by Charles Messier. It is rated at magnitude 8.6.
This is an RGB composite CCD image taken with an SBIG ST-8XE CCD on a Takahashi FCT-150 refractor. A number of other near by galaxies are visible in this image.
M87 (NGC 4486)
RA:12h 31m 09s Dec:+12d 21' 13"
March 3, 2006
Image by Sid Leach
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Description of equipment used to acquire images.
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