A Quasar in the Making?

Reciprocity XXVI, #1 (Spring, 1997), p. 21.

The Hubble Space Telescope imaged an 800-light-year-wide spiral-shaped disk of dust fueling a supposed "massive black hole" in the center of galaxy NGC 4261 in Virgo. Press release STScI-PRC95-47a indicates, "By measuring the speed of gas swirling around the black hole, astronomers calculate that the object at the center of the disk is 1.2 billion times the mass of our Sun, yet concentrated into a region of space not much larger than our solar system. Hubble also reveals that the disk and black hole are offset from the center of NGC 4261, implying some sort of dynamical interaction is taking place, that has yet to be fully explained."

If Larson is correct, this galactic equivalent of a white-dwarf star is a new Quasar.


B Peret's picture

Hubble view of NGC-4261 shows the 3-x speed range "jets" typical of an exploding galaxy--a quasar. If Larson is correct, those jets will eventually coalesce into a radio galaxy paired with a quasar (the core).

"Big mouths usually come attached to small minds." --Burt Gummer