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Episode 483             Episode 485
Episode 484

Messier 87
Sat, 2018-Sep-01 01:02 UTC
Length - 2:42

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Saturday, 1 September 2018 is Messier 87.

Messier 87 (also known as Virgo A or NGC 4486, generally abbreviated to M87) is a supergiant elliptical galaxy in the constellation Virgo. One of the most massive galaxies in the local Universe, it is notable for its large population of globular clusters—about 12,000 compared to the 150–200 orbiting the Milky Way—and its jet of energetic plasma that originates at the core and extends at least 1,500 parsecs (4,900 light-years), travelling at relativistic speed. It is one of the brightest radio sources in the sky, and a popular target for both amateur and professional astronomers.

The French astronomer Charles Messier discovered M87 in 1781, and catalogued it as a nebulous feature while searching for objects that would otherwise confuse comet hunters. M87 is located about 16.4 million parsecs (53.5 million light-years) from Earth and is the second brightest galaxy within the northern Virgo Cluster, having many satellite galaxies. Unlike a disk-shaped spiral galaxy, M87 has no distinctive dust lanes. Instead, it has an almost featureless, ellipsoidal shape typical of most giant elliptical galaxies, diminishing in luminosity with distance from the center. Forming around one sixth of its mass, M87's stars have a nearly spherically symmetric distribution. Their population density decreases with increasing distance from the core. It has an active supermassive black hole at its core, which forms the primary component of an active galactic nucleus.

The galaxy is a strong source of multiwavelength radiation, particularly radio waves. Its galactic envelope extends to a radius of about 150 kiloparsecs (490 thousand light-years), where it is truncated—possibly by an encounter with another galaxy. Its interstellar medium consists of diffuse gas enriched by elements emitted from evolved stars.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 01:02 UTC on Saturday, 1 September 2018.

For the full current version of the article, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messier_87.

This podcast is produced by Abulsme Productions based on Wikipedia content and is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

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This has been Matthew. Thank you for listening to featured Wiki of the Day.

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