The Relativistic Jet of M87

May 21, 2021



Photographer: Greg Parker 
Summary Author: Greg Parker 

As it’s galaxy viewing season now (for stargazers with telescopes), I thought I'd look for the relativistic jet coming out of galaxy M87 in the Virgo Galaxy Cluster. M87, some 54 million light years away, is the galaxy where a radio image of the supermassive black hole that lies at its center was recently acquired. The relativistic jet of high energy particles is the signature of this black hole.

After imaging, when I did my normal processing procedure, the jet was lost in the glare of M87 itself. So, I used a Digital Development Filter to mask out the galaxy, and this allowed the jet to be seen quite clearly. Photo taken on April 18, 2021.

Photo details; The image consists of 12 sub-exposures each of 4-minutes taken on a Hyperstar III (f#2; Celestron C11 SCR telescope; Starlight Xpress 814C one shot color CCD camera. The main frame is the whole field of view of the Hyperstar III with M87 at the center of the frame. The insert is a further processed view of just M87 in order to make the jet clearer.