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More Images: Famous Black Hole Has Jet Pushing Cosmic Speed Limit
Click for large jpg Layout
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Click for large jpg Wide Field
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Click for large jpg 2012 Close-Up
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Click for large jpg 2017 Close-Up
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Click for large jpg 2012 Inset
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Click for large jpg 2017 Inset
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Click for large jpg Full Field
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X-ray Images of M87
Astronomers used Chandra to show that the black hole in M87 is blasting particles out at over 99% the speed of light. The wider field image shows the entire length of M87's jet (over 18,000 light years) seen by Chandra. Meanwhile the close-ups contain snapshots of one zoomed in region, or "knot," of X-ray emission observed by Chandra in 2012 and 2017, to the upper right of X-rays from material around the black hole. Movement and fading of this knot and another farther along the jet provided the researchers the evidence that parts of the jet are traveling at remarkable speeds.
(Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO/B.Snios et al.)

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Illustration of the Supermassive Black Hole at the Center of M87
This artist's impression shows a close-up view of the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy M87. Surrounding the black hole in the lower left is hot, infalling material, shown in red. Some of the material escapes the gravitational clutches of the black hole and is expelled at almost the speed of light in a jet, pointing to the upper right. The jet in M87 is only about 17 degrees from our line of sight.
(Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)