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HubbleSite Hubble Confirms Existence of Massive Black Hole at Heart of Active Galaxy

  • Thread starter Space Telescope Science
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Space Telescope Science

Astronomers using the Hubble telescope have found seemingly conclusive evidence for a massive black hole in the center of the giant elliptical galaxy M87, located 50 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Virgo. Earlier observations suggested that the black hole was present, but they were not decisive.

This observation provides very strong support for the existence of gravitationally collapsed objects, which were predicted 80 years ago by Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity. This image shows a spiral-shaped disk of hot gas in the core of M87. Hubble measurements indicate that the disk's rapid rotation is strong evidence that it contains a massive black hole. A black hole is so massive and compact that nothing can escape its gravitational pull, not even light.

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