Messier 87 is a supergiant elliptical galaxy in the constellation Virgo.
It has about 12,000 globular clusters—compared to the 150 to 200
orbiting the Milky Way—and a jet of energetic plasma that originates
at the core and extends at least 4,900 light-years. One of the brightest
radio sources in the sky, it is a popular target for both amateur and
professional astronomers. The French astronomer Charles Messier
discovered the galaxy in 1781, and catalogued it as a nebulous feature
while searching for objects that would otherwise confuse comet hunters.
About 53.5 million light-years from Earth, M87 is the second brightest
galaxy within the northern Virgo Cluster. Unlike disk-shaped spiral
galaxies, M87 has no distinctive dust lanes. Instead, it has an almost
featureless ellipsoidal shape typical of most giant elliptical galaxies,
diminishing in luminosity away from the center. It has a supermassive
black hole at its core, powering an active galactic nucleus.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messier_87>
Today's selected anniversaries:
American Civil War: Confederate forces attacked retreating
Union Army troops at the Battle of Chantilly during a rainstorm in
Chantilly, Virginia, but the fighting ended up being tactically
The first science fiction film, titled A Trip to the Moon
(scene pictured) and based on From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne,
was released in France.
The passenger pigeon, which once numbered in the billions,
became extinct when the last individual died in captivity.
American chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer became the 11th World
Chess Champion when he defeated Russian Boris Spassky in a match that
was widely publicized as a Cold War confrontation.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
(US, informal, somewhat derogatory) A child or young adult from a
wealthy family, especially one who flaunts his or her wealth or
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Trade isn't about goods. Trade is about information. Goods sit in
the warehouse until information moves them.
--C. J. Cherryh
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