M87 = NGC4486 ( 12h 30.8m +1224, 8.6 mag. )

This giant elliptical galaxy in Virgo was discovered by Messier on March 18, 1781. M87 is the most luminous member of Virgo Cluster and is also very active - powerful jet (see below) ejected from its nucleus testifies about the monstrous black hole hiding in galaxie's nucleus. M87 can be found NWW of M58 in the same low power field (see Virgo Cluster Map and the detailed chart below).

The above image was taken on December 18, 1998 from Sooke, BC. Cookbook 245 LDC CCD camera was used on Celestron Ultima 8 f6.3 telescope autoguided with Cookbook 211 LDC CCD camera on piggybacked 500mm f8 telephoto lens. Five white integrations (240 sec. each) were processed with AIP4WIN.

North is to the right.

While the nuclear jet is detectable in the image above, a few extra processing steps were needed to display it better. A fragment of the above image containing M87's core was enlarged 2x, rank-processed and the jet was highlighted by applying embossing filter. What's amazing is that Cookbook camera on a small telescope can actually reveal it at all!

Map created in Guide 7.0 - 2 x 3. North is up.

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Jan Wisniewski