Virgo A

Virgo A

(3C274) An intense radio source in the Virgo cluster that is associated with the galaxy M87. It is 16 megaparsecs distant and has a flux density of 198 jansky at a wavelength of 20 cm. M87 is a giant elliptical galaxy that is unusual in possessing an optical jet extending from its central regions. Jet and nucleus are both sources of nonthermal radio and X-ray radiation due to synchrotron emission from plasma as it is accelerated along the jet. M87 is the nearest active galaxy. Hubble Space Telescope observations of a disk of hot gas in the core of M87 show it to be rotating rapidly, a signature of a supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy, with a mass more than three billion times greater than that of our Sun.

The thermal X-ray emission in the Virgo cluster is strongly concentrated to the region around M87, and to bind this gas gravitationally the galaxy must have a total mass of more than 1013 solar masses. A direct determination of the mass-to-luminosity ratio in this galaxy requires it to have a massive dark halo. The galaxy is surrounded by over a hundred thousand globular clusters.

Virgo A

[′vər·gō ′ā]
(astronomy)
A radio galaxy; it is associated with the galaxy M 87 (NGC 4486).
References in periodicals archive ?
We are thrilled to have Virgo as an equity and project funding partner.
Perry joined Virgo as a Senior Advisor and Operating Partner to source and support transactions in the energy sector after a distinguished and diverse 35 year career focused on the energy industry including 10 years in energy private equity.
However, astronomers have calculated the relative distance of clusters that lie much farther away, using the distance between Earth and Virgo as their unit of measure.