APOD: A Jet from Galaxy M87 (2011 Aug 28)

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APOD: A Jet from Galaxy M87 (2011 Aug 28)

Postby APOD Robot » Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:06 am

Image A Jet from Galaxy M87

Explanation: What's causing a huge jet to emanate from the center of galaxy M87? Although the unusual jet was first noticed early in the twentieth century, the exact cause is still debated. The above picture taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1998 shows clear details, however. The most popular hypothesis holds that the jet is created by energetic gas swirling around a massive black hole at the galaxy's center. The result is a 5000 light-year long blowtorch where electrons are ejected outward at near light-speed, emitting eerily blue light during a magnetic spiral. M87 is a giant elliptical galaxy residing only 50 million light-years away in the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies. The faint dots of light surrounding M87's center are large ancient globular clusters of stars.

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saturn2

Re: APOD: A Jet from Galaxy M87 (2011 Aug 28)

Postby saturn2 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:30 am

A black hole cause the Jet energy from Galaxy M 87.
Distance from Earth to M 87 50 million light-years. ( Virgo Cluster of Galaxies).
Our Milky Way Galaxy is in a Super Cluster of Galaxies, and Virgo Cluster of Galaxies is the center of this super group

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Re: APOD: A Jet from Galaxy M87 (2011 Aug 28)

Postby DougFarren » Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:30 am

My knowledge of astronomy is not stellar (pardon the pun) but the shape of the jet raises another question: The jet is 5,000 light years long yet it is perfectly straight. Even if the components of the jet were traveling at light speed this would mean that the source would have to be facing the exact same direction for 5,000 years. To me, this is highly unlikely. Galaxies spin, black holes spin and perhaps even wobble. There are other examples of jets that are even longer and they too appear to be perfectly straight. I am aware of the fact that galactic rotation takes millions of years but, even so, I would think the jet would show at least some curvature.

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Re: APOD: A Jet from Galaxy M87 (2011 Aug 28)

Postby Case » Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:12 am

DougFarren wrote:The jet is perfectly straight.
My thinking is that the jet is straight because it is perpendicular to the rotation, which may also help stabilize the direction of the jet. Any wobble may perhaps express the width of the beam. The speed of the spin may be a factor in the wobbliness, just like a spinning top toy and gyroscopes.
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Re: APOD: A Jet from Galaxy M87 (2011 Aug 28)

Postby orin stepanek » Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:47 pm

saturn2 wrote: ( Virgo Cluster of Galaxies).
Our Milky Way Galaxy is in a Super Cluster of Galaxies, and Virgo Cluster of Galaxies is the center of this super group

The Virgo Cluster of galaxies is outside of the Milky Way! They are galaxies in their own right. Many of which may be as large of larger than the Milky Way
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Re: APOD: A Jet from Galaxy M87 (2011 Aug 28)

Postby Ann » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:39 pm

saturn2 wrote:A black hole cause the Jet energy from Galaxy M 87.
Distance from Earth to M 87 50 million light-years. ( Virgo Cluster of Galaxies).
Our Milky Way Galaxy is in a Super Cluster of Galaxies, and Virgo Cluster of Galaxies is the center of this super group


I'm not sure, but I think saturn2 may be correct about this. We are not part of the Virgo Cluster, but we may well be part of the larger association of which the Virgo Cluster is the center.

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Re: APOD: A Jet from Galaxy M87 (2011 Aug 28)

Postby Chris Peterson » Sun Aug 28, 2011 2:12 pm

DougFarren wrote:My knowledge of astronomy is not stellar (pardon the pun) but the shape of the jet raises another question: The jet is 5,000 light years long yet it is perfectly straight. Even if the components of the jet were traveling at light speed this would mean that the source would have to be facing the exact same direction for 5,000 years. To me, this is highly unlikely. Galaxies spin, black holes spin and perhaps even wobble. There are other examples of jets that are even longer and they too appear to be perfectly straight. I am aware of the fact that galactic rotation takes millions of years but, even so, I would think the jet would show at least some curvature.

Since the jet is almost certainly produced along the axis of rotation, you would only expect it to not be straight if the rotating source was precessing, which it certainly need not be. There are examples of jets which appear to be emitted by precessing sources, however. And as you hint at, the appearance of a jet at any time is a short-lived thing- just a few thousand years. That significantly limits the sort of precessional processes that could be involved.
Chris

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Doc

Re: APOD: A Jet from Galaxy M87 (2011 Aug 28)

Postby Doc » Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:21 pm

I have always loved this picture because a part of the jet, by coincidence, looks like a sci-fi ship, The Doomsday Machine, from the original Star Trek series (which happens to be my favorite story from the original series). I have even seen articles written about this galaxy with the word doomsday in the title because the jet is disrupting a satellite galaxy of M-87; but, I have yet to see anyone make this connection before.

I have cropped the image to show the part that looks like The Doomsday Machine. Here are the two side by side. Does anyone else see the similarity?


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Re: APOD: A Jet from Galaxy M87 (2011 Aug 28)

Postby bystander » Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:27 pm

Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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nebosite

Re: APOD: A Jet from Galaxy M87 (2011 Aug 28)

Postby nebosite » Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:58 pm

If the jet is composed of electrons, does this mean that the black hole is largely positive in charge? If so, how does this effect the black hole's behavior over time?

Is there enough matter in the jet that stars and planets could form from the jet itself? (Imagine a solar system travelling near the speed of light!)

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Re: APOD: A Jet from Galaxy M87 (2011 Aug 28)

Postby NoelC » Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:05 pm

If that thing happened to be pointed at us, would it seem to have similar characteristics to a quasar? Asked another way, are the quasars we see likely to be chance alignment with such beams from other objects/galaxies?

Also, it's intriguing to think that the energy level in that beam may be strong enough to sterilize all the planets that happen to pass through it. Am I off base in this thinking? Or could some hypothetical civilization whose star is circling that galaxy be seeing that beam growing ever nearer, thinking they have but a short time to live?

-Noel

saturn2

Re: APOD: A Jet from Galaxy M87 (2011 Aug 28)

Postby saturn2 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:45 am

Ann
Thanks by your explanation.
Of course. Our Milky Way Galaxy belongs to Local Group of Galaxies. This Group has 30 galaxies.
The Local Group of Galaxies belongs to Super Cluster, wich Virgo Cluster Galaxies is the center.

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Re: APOD: A Jet from Galaxy M87 (2011 Aug 28)

Postby alter-ego » Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:48 am

NoelC wrote:If that thing happened to be pointed at us, would it seem to have similar characteristics to a quasar? Asked another way, are the quasars we see likely to be chance alignment with such beams from other objects/galaxies?

Also, it's intriguing to think that the energy level in that beam may be strong enough to sterilize all the planets that happen to pass through it. Am I off base in this thinking? Or could some hypothetical civilization whose star is circling that galaxy be seeing that beam growing ever nearer, thinking they have but a short time to live?

I probably know just enough about jets to get me in trouble, but here's my understanding.
First, jets are nasty, very nasty. A gamma ray burst (GRB) is theorized to be an on-axis emission from a jet during a super nova (a star mind you, not a SMB), and this GRB is considered to be dangerous for Earth if one popped off in our galaxy we were in this "collimated" beam. My thought is an SMB jet could more easily be deadly on a galactic distance scale. However the details depend on how active the acretion disk is, and the energy of the accelarated particles and the associated electromagnetic beam. I suspect if we can visually see a deadly jet's synchrotron radiation, it might already be too late as the death blow likely would be initiated first with the high-energy radiation, e.g. gamma rays. With that said, the follow up punch of vast quantities of high energy particles could be the final blow to the planet, but would there be any life around at that time is another question. Certainly, a planet could survive if the particle beam energy was low enough. Imagine a long-lived auroral display driven by a jet of particles 10's of thousand light years away!

Second, an angular energy distribution of radiation is also theorized (I'm assuming the same applies to AGN). The on-axis, high-energy radiation (gamma ray) gives way to lower energies as propagation angles increase away from on-axis beam. So, when we observe a quasar (most have a dominant radio frequency component, I believe), we are most likely NOT looking down the bore.

You may find this site interesting. It's a long discussion about GRB's. It also discusses jets associated with supernovae and black hole formation. I don't think super massive BHs are mentioned (I haven't read the whole thing), but I'm willing to consider jets, jet formation to be very similar, if not the same. I mean the recipe for extreme jets seem to be high rotational speeds, very strong magnetic fields, and an acretion disk surrounding a very massive component, e.g black hole or neutron star.
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howardrichison

Re: APOD: A Jet from Galaxy M87 (2011 Aug 28)

Postby howardrichison » Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:33 pm

the answer to the jet coming from galaxy m87 is.
it is enegery from another demention, like light coming through a keyhole in a smokey room.
I'm just an auto mechanic, so prove me wrong.

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Re: APOD: A Jet from Galaxy M87 (2011 Aug 28)

Postby Chris Peterson » Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:49 pm

howardrichison wrote:the answer to the jet coming from galaxy m87 is.
it is enegery from another demention, like light coming through a keyhole in a smokey room.
I'm just an auto mechanic, so prove me wrong.

It doesn't work like that <g>.

Auto mechanic or particle physicist, it doesn't matter. You need to demonstrate that your ideas have merit. Otherwise, nobody is likely to spend much time trying to prove them wrong.
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Re: APOD: A Jet from Galaxy M87 (2011 Aug 28)

Postby neufer » Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:10 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
howardrichison wrote:
the answer to the jet coming from galaxy m87 is.
it is enegery from another demention,
like light coming through a keyhole in a smokey room.
I'm just an auto mechanic, so prove me wrong.

It doesn't work like that <g>.

Auto mechanic or particle physicist, it doesn't matter. You need to demonstrate that your ideas have merit. Otherwise, nobody is likely to spend much time trying to prove them wrong.

Dement, v. t. [L. dementare, fr. demens, -mentis, out of one's mind, mad; de + mens mind. See Mental.] To deprive of reason; to make mad.
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: A Jet from Galaxy M87 (2011 Aug 28)

Postby Beyond » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:03 am

neufer wrote:To deprive of reason; to make mad.
I seem to recall a magazine named Mad that didn't have much reason to it, but it seemed to do pretty well. Actually, the main character even ran for president, years ago. So it would seem that to deprive one of reason and make mad, isn't necessarily a bad thing. Right-Art :?:
To find the Truth, you must go Beyond.

Roger

Re: APOD: A Jet from Galaxy M87 (2011 Aug 28)

Postby Roger » Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:12 am

Apart from the jet, I notice that the light from M87 is granulated. The granules are slightly smaller than the individual globular clusters are.

Is the granular appearance due to star clusters in M87? That seems strange to me, and indeed, I should think that it would be a great discovery to find that the bulk of such a large, old galaxy is made of small star clusters. One expects galactic clusters of stars to evaporate, leaving only "loner" stars and star systems, over time. This evaporation is believed to prevail in clusters in our galaxy, and it explains the loneliness of the Sun despite its formation along with other nascent stars in a cloud of dust and gas.

I suspect that the granular appearance is instrumental noise, brought out by the processing of the image.

It is not due to individual stars. To understand this, consider that each of the brighter dots is a globular cluster with about 100,000 stars in it. Individual stars that are as bright as these granulations are rare.

-- Roger

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Re: APOD: A Jet from Galaxy M87 (2011 Aug 28)

Postby GaryR » Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:03 am

Roger wrote:Apart from the jet, I notice that the light from M87 is granulated. The granules are slightly smaller than the individual globular clusters are.

Is the granular appearance due to star clusters in M87? That seems strange to me, and indeed, I should think that it would be a great discovery to find that the bulk of such a large, old galaxy is made of small star clusters. One expects galactic clusters of stars to evaporate, leaving only "loner" stars and star systems, over time. This evaporation is believed to prevail in clusters in our galaxy, and it explains the loneliness of the Sun despite its formation along with other nascent stars in a cloud of dust and gas.

I suspect that the granular appearance is instrumental noise, brought out by the processing of the image.

It is not due to individual stars. To understand this, consider that each of the brighter dots is a globular cluster with about 100,000 stars in it. Individual stars that are as bright as these granulations are rare.

-- Roger


They are individual stars. Stars in the globular clusters happen to be more closely packed than stars in the galaxy, so they appear brighter. Also, the number of stars in a globular cluster is in millions, not hundred thousands.

Gary


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