Friday, October 7, 2011
My Favorite Celestial Object
M87, also called Messier 87, NGC 4486, or Virgo A, is a supergiant elliptical galaxy, and an interesting one at that. Of course I mentioned the ray of plasma shooting from it, but not in very much detail. It is matter being ejected from the center of the galaxy, which happens to contain a supermassive black hole. It is being ejected all the way to a whopping 5,000 lightyears away from the core of M87, but this amount is astronomically minute compared to the 53,500,000 lightyears the galaxy itself is away from Earth.
About the supermassive black hole located in Virgo A's center, it emits not just a jet but it is a large source of radio waves, and othe multiwavelength radiation.
The galaxy itself is ellipsoidial, and is near the center of the very large Virgo Cluster, which contains a whopping 2,000 members. The cluster is the core of the Virgo Supercluster. Contained in this is the well known galaxy the Milky Way--also a very good candy, however nothing beats the Kit-Kat--and the lesser known Local Group. Over 100 groups and clusters of galaxies are in this supercluster, proving that the supercluster called the Virgo Supercluster is indeed super.
Last but obviously not least judging by the paragraphs above, M87 is part of the constellation Virgo, and is also near the constellation Coma Berenices, a lesser known constellation. Let me explain the story of this constellation:
Coma Berenices can be translated to Berenice's Hair. Berenice is referred as Queen Berenice the Second, of Egypt. Apparently, somewhere in her reign, she sacrificed her hair, which is what the constellation is based off of.
Well, there you go--M87.