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Spectrum of M87 Nucleus


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About this observation
Robin Leadbeater
Time of observation
11/04/2019 - 22:32
Observing location
Wigton Cumbria
Celestron C11 telescope
ALPY 600 spectrograph
ATIK 428 camera
100 min

Since M87 has been in the news recently with the radio image of the region immediately surrounding the black hole,

I thought I would take a spectrum of this region using the ALPY600.  I obviously could not get anywhere near as close in as  the radio image but the spectrum of the nucleus (red) shows clear emission lines of H alpha, [N II], [S II]  from the material in the region surrounding the black hole, redshifted by  ~1300km/s . Note the absence of these emission lines in the spectrum covering a region further out (blue). I have also included a spectrum of this region from the literature taken by the 3.6m TNG telescope in 2008 (orange) which covers the central 2x2 arc sec region from this reference

Also for comparison is a K3v stellar reference spectrum,shifted to match the M87 redshift. Note the similarity with the combined starlight from this mature elliptical galaxy.

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