Extended emission-line gas in M 87

  • William B. Sparks
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 530)


The extended optical (“warm”) emission filaments in M 87 may connect the inner nucleus to the outer coronal halo of the Virgo cluster of galaxies. The historical development of observations of the filament system is reviewed, and placed in context both with the warm gas of elliptical galaxies in general, and within the context of different theoretical scenarios. A detailed morphological picture has emerged, particularly with recent Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images in which complex strands and loops of emitting material may be seen extending over many kiloparsec. The emitting gas is dusty at a level consistent with Galactic gas-to-dust ratios. There may also be a component of neutral gas present. Kinematically, the gas system is in outflow within the central few kiloparsec of the nucleus, whereas at greater distances, the gas is infalling.


Black Hole Surface Brightness Hubble Space Telescope Elliptical Galaxy Virgo Cluster 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • William B. Sparks
    • 1
  1. 1.Space Telescope Science InstituteBaltimoreUSA

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