The Now-Famous Black Hole Locates In A Massive Galaxy

Aadhya Khatri - May 06, 2019


The Now-Famous Black Hole Locates In A Massive Galaxy

The black hole resides in the Messier 87, which is also a large central dominant galaxy

The first-ever image of a black hole might have taken all the limelight, but the Spitzer Space Telescope also revealed much more about the galaxy in which it locates.

The black hole at the attention of the public has a massive size. Our Sun’s mass must multiply by 6.5 million times to be compatible with that of the hole. It resides in the Messier 87, which is also a large central dominant galaxy. In fact, it is one of the biggest we have known so far. The Messier 87 is home to a wide range of globular clusters, amounting to 12,000 in comparison with 200 of our Milky Way.

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The galaxy’s picture is taken in infrared

The galaxy’s picture is taken in infrared, which has 3.6 to 4.5 microns in wavelengths. You can see them as green and blue, which are also the stars. The red part is dust with a wavelength of 8.0 microns.

The puff you see in the center is the heart of the galaxy, which is also where the famous black hole is. From this point, two feather-liked vapor shapes are spreading from that same spot. When the particles circling the black hole clash with the gas around it, jets of materials containing lots of energy will be shot out, creating the shapes we see in the picture.

The Spizer actually picked up the shockwaves of infrared light, created by the impact, rather than the jets. The waves look differently because they have distinct relative positions to our viewing point. The wave on the right-hand side of the image looks bigger and more intense than the other one as it is moving toward our Earth. As it is traveling at the speed of light, it will look even brighter. The other one seems like it has a smaller size because it is heading in the opposite direction, which causes it to look less shiny.

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