Number 63 (Story #2), January 17, 1992 by Phillip F. Schewe and Ben Stein|
BEST EVIDENCE YET FOR A NEARBY BLACK HOLE . New Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images of galaxy M87 show a bright concentration of light at the core of the galaxy. The density of the light is some 300 times higher than what you would expect for a galaxy of this type. This and the presence of an energetic, collimated jet of material extending out more than 4000 light years from the core can best be explained by supposing that a black hole with a mass of 2 to 3 billion solar masses sits at the galactic hole, according to Tod R. Lauer of the National Optical Astronomical Observatories. Upcoming spectroscopic studies will test this hypothesis by measuring the velocities of stars near the galactic nucleus.