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This near infrared image of the central core and accompanying jet of the giant elliptical galaxy M87 shows clearly the steady increase in brightness toward its center. The stars in M87 are strongly concentrated towards its nucleus, as if drawn in and hel d by the gravitational field of a massive black hole. The spot of light directly at the center of M87 appears to be a visible counterpart of the strong nuclear radio source, produced by the hot plasma interacting with the magnetic fields. This phenomeno n is possibly generated by a super hot disk of infalling gas expected to surround the black hole. (© STScI)
Courtesy NASA (HST Wide Field/Planetary Camera).
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