Science: Galactic Pyrotechnics

In the prosaic style of astronomical catalogues, it is known simply as M87. But there is nothing simple about the giant galaxy. Some 30 million light-years from earth and about 100 times the diameter of the sun's own Milky Way galaxy, M87 is a great spherical island of billions of stars apparently in the midst of a tremendous upheaval. Photographs of M87 taken through the 200-in. telescope atop California's Palomar Mountain seem to show (top) that the galaxy is shooting into space an enormous jet of material, equal to the mass of countless suns....

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