The University of Arizona


SkyCenter's Image Chosen as NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day
Thursday, July 1, 2010

NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day website has chosen another Mount Lemmon SkyCenter image of space! M87, the largest member of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies, harbors a monster in its heart. This massive elliptical galaxy has a central blackhole with a mass equivalent many billions of times that of our own small Sun. While we cannot see the blackhole directly, we can see the result of its voracious appetite. As matter spirals in, a jet of high-energy particles is accelerated out of the galaxy. Surprisingly using the high-quality 24-inch telescope from the superb mountaintop of Mount Lemmon, it is possible to capture this jet in a galaxy that is 50 million light years away.