Messier 87 or M87 (Picture of the Day)

Messier 87 (M87)
Messier 87 (M87 or NGC 4486) is a supergiant elliptical galaxy.It is about 53.5 million light years away from Earth. It is the largest and the brightest galaxy within the northern Virgo cluster. It is located very close to the center of the Virgo cluster. It also has about 12,000 globular clusters orbiting the galaxy compared to the 150-200 globular clusters orbiting our Milky Way galaxy. The blue object which extends from the galaxy is the jet of matter from the center of the galaxy by a supermassive black hole. The jet is about 5,000 light years long. The supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy is one of the most massive known for such an object. It has a mass of about 6,600,000,000 times the mass of the Sun, with a diameter larger than the orbit of Pluto.

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