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M87 Animations
Click for high-resolution animation
Sequence of M87 Images
Quicktime MPEG
This sequence begins with an optical view of M87, a giant elliptical galaxy only 50 million light years away in the Virgo cluster. X-ray data (red) are then overlaid and reveal a series of loops and bubbles in the hot gas that surrounds the galaxy and fills the cluster. These are evidence of repeated outbursts from close to the supermassive black hole in M87, which are responsible for producing sound throughout the cluster.
[Runtime: 0:23]
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/W.Forman et al.; Optical: DSS)
Click for high-resolution animation
Animation Showing a Supermassive Black Hole Outburst in M87
Quicktime MPEG
This animation depicts an outburst generated by a supermassive black hole in M87, a large elliptical galaxy in the middle of the Virgo Cluster. Gas and dust (reddish-brown disk) are being pulled around by the enormous gravity of the supermassive black hole, which is buried in the center of M87. The animation then zooms out to show the full view of the galaxy, which is surrounded by hot gas (red) that pervades the galaxy cluster. White jets, fueled from material falling onto the black hole, then erupt from near the black hole and push gas backwards to create dark cavities in the cluster gas. Direct evidence for repeated eruptions like this is found in Chandra images of M87. Small eruptions occur every few million years and more powerful outbursts repeat over timescales of tens of millions of years. This will generate incredibly deep sound waves in the cluster.
[Runtime: 0:24]
(Credit: NASA/CXC/A.Hobart)

Return to M87 (05 Oct 06)