The virgo cluster — home of M 87

  • Bruno Binggeli
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 530)


Our current understanding of the structure and dynamics of the Virgo cluster is reviewed. Special emphasis is given to a possible connection between the activity of M 87 and the cluster as a whole. The Virgo cluster is an aggregate of at least three separate subclusters, centered on M 87, M 86, and M 49. The dominant M 87 subclump, with a mass of a few 1014 M, is outweighing the other two subclumps by an order of magnitude. There is evidence, from the kinematics of dwarf galaxies and the structure of the X-ray gas, that the M 86 subclump is falling into the M 87 subclump from the back with a relative velocity of ≈ 1 500 km s−1. M 87 and M 86 seem to be embedded in a common, cocoon-like swarm of dwarf ellipticals. The orientation of this cocoon, or simply the line connecting M 87 and M 86, is coinciding with the (projected) direction of the jet of M 87. A possible explanation for this apparent coherence between structures on the pc scale of the center of M 87 and the Mpc scale of the Virgo cluster is discussed.


Radio Galaxy Dwarf Galaxy Virgo Cluster Distance Indicator Local Supercluster 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno Binggeli
    • 1
  1. 1.Astronomical Institute of the University of BaselBinningenSwitzerland

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