M60: New Chandra Image gives mass of central object

[M60, x-ray/optical composite, CXO/HST]

Data obtained with the Chandra X-ray Observatory (CXO) have been used to create this image of the Virgo Cluster giant elliptical galaxy M60 (NGC 4649), and to estimate the mass of the central object of this galaxy. This object, thought by many astronomers to be a supermassive black hole, was found to have a mass 3.4 billion times that of the Sun, or about 1,000 times more than the object in the Milky Way’s center.

Credit: X-ray (NASA/CXC/Univ. of California Irvine/P.Humphrey et al.); Optical (NASA/STScI)

Chandra Image:
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2008/ngc4649/

Chandra Press Release:
http://chandra.harvard.edu/press/08_releases/press_071608.html

SEDS M60 page:
http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m060.html

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