The Galaxy, the Jet, and the Black Hole


Image Credit: NASAJPL-CaltechEvent Horizon Telescope Collaboration


The Galaxy, the Jet, and the Black Hole 


Bright elliptical galaxy Messier 87 (M87) is home to the supermassive black hole captured by planet Earth’s Event Horizon Telescope in the first ever image of a black hole. Giant of the Virgo galaxy cluster about 55 million light-years away, M87 is the large galaxy rendered in blue hues in this infrared image from the Spitzer Space telescope. Though M87 appears mostly featureless and cloud-like, the Spitzer image records details of relativistic jets blasting from the galaxy’s central region. Shown in the inset at top right, the jets themselves span thousands of light-years. The brighter jet seen on the right is approaching and close to our line of sight. Opposite, the shock created by the otherwise unseen receding jet lights up a fainter arc of material. Inset at bottom right, the historic black hole image is shown in context, at the centre of giant galaxy and relativistic jets. Completely unresolved in the Spitzer image, the supermassive black hole surrounded by infalling material is the source of the enormous energy driving the relativistic jets from the centre of active galaxy M87.



Annual General Meeting (AGM) this month

Our AGM is scheduled for Tuesday 28th May. We seek financial members to serve on the committee. We particularly are in need of a treasurer. The position is not onerous. Members who wish to investigate this unique role for our organisation please contact the secretary to discuss the job function –


World-renowned authority on astronomy to speak in Auckland next month.

Brian Cox

Using state of the art graphics and imagery from ground-based telescopes and space probes, presented using ultra-high-resolution LED screen technology, Brian will explore the latest missions to the planets, the nature of space and time from the Big Bang to black holes and the origin and fate of life and intelligence in the Universe. He will also address questions about the value of science, how we acquire scientific knowledge and why we should trust it.

Visual highlights will include a journey around and into a black hole, created in partnership with Double Negative, the four-time Academy Award-winning visual effects company responsible for creating the black hole effects in the movie Interstellar.

Professor Cox is scheduled to present his Auckland address on Saturday 15th June. The committee intends to investigate costs of the event and transport. Meanwhile please respond to to register your interest in attending the event. If suitable numbers register interest to make the proposition economically viable we shall prepare costs and publish the details. Please register your interest by 31st May.


Our Society’s financial year starts on 1st April each year.

Accordingly members’ subscriptions are due for payment.

Annual membership –

$30 each adult

or $40 each family

$10 students.

Payment on-line or

cash at meetings.

No EFTPOS facility available.

On-line payment is easy to


Bank account number

03 0435 0659752 00

Please indicate

“Subscription” and your name.

Once payment is received your nametags will be available at subsequent meetings.


Our next meeting is Tuesday 14th May

We’ll publish the program closer to the event.


TAS large



Affliated With:


With funding support from:


Slooh Space Camera


NASA astronomy picture of the day