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Session 56 - Active Galaxies: The Central Engine.
Oral session, Tuesday, January 16
Corte Real, Hilton

[56.01] Probing the Black Hole Environment in M87

Z. Tsvetanov, H. Ford, G. Kriss, Y. C. Pei (JHU), G. Hartig (STScI), R. Harms, L. Dressel (RJH Sci.), M. Dopita (MSSSO)

M87 (NGC 4486), the central giant elliptical galaxy in the Virgo cluster, harbours, perhaps, the best known synchrotron jet found in extragalactic sources. It is a primary target for searching for evidence of the supermassive black holes that are thought to be the fundamental engines of powerful radio galaxies and quasars. M87 is presently unique in providing a clear example of a small nuclear disk of ionized gas that allows an independent measurement of the mass of the central black hole.

M87 is one of the central sources in the FOS GTO program. The nuclear region has been observed several times by the HST Faint Object Spectrograph after the deployment of the corrective optics. We will discuss interesting new properties of the central source that become apparent based on an analysis of the entire set of data.

This work is supported by NASA Grant NAS 5-1630 to the FOS team.

Program listing for Tuesday