News Release Archive:

News Release 1012 of 1051

January 16, 1992 12:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-1992-01

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Probes the Compact Nucleus of Galaxy M87

An American Astronomical Society Meeting Release

January 16, 1992: Astronomers report today that they have found intriguing evidence that a black hole weighing over 2.6 billion times the mass of the Sun exists at the center of the giant elliptical galaxy M87, based upon images taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The images show that stars become strongly concentrated towards the center of M87, as if drawn into the center and held there by the gravitational field of a massive black hole.

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Investigators: Tod R. Lauer (NOAO), Sandra M. Faber (CSC), C. Roger Lynds (NOAO), and the Wide Field/Planetary Camera Imaging Team.

Credit: Tod R. Lauer, Sandra M. Faber/NASA