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Session 100 - Accretion Disks and Black Holes.
Display session, Thursday, January 16
Metropolitan Ballroom,

[100.06] Is there a Supermassive Black Hole in M87?

D. Axon, D. Macchetto (STScI), A. Capetti (S.I.S.S.A. Italy), A. Marconi, W. Sparks (STScI), P. Crane (ESO, FRG)

We present here new long slit spectra of the nucleus and circumnuclear region of M87 obtained using the Faint Object Camera on HST. Due to the high spatial (0.06\arcsec) and spectral resolution (3.6Åof the FOC F/48 long slit, these spectra allow us to trace and to model the rotation of the disk of ionized gas to a distance as close as 5 pc from the nucleus of M87. Our strategy consisted of taking several parallel spectra of the extended disk with the slit perpendicular to the jet. Each spectrum, separated by 0.2\arcsec\ provides important information on the dynamics of the disk, while also allowing us to pin-point the location of the slit with respect to the nucleus to an accuracy of better than 0.05\arcsec ! A final deep exposure was thus taken with the nucleus centered in the slit aperture. These observations provide an order of magnitude improvement in resolution and spatial coverage over the FOS spectra, and allow us to trace the line reversal through the nucleus with resolutions unattainable in any other way.

Program listing for Thursday