Messier 87 (Galaxy NGC 4486)

Location:  Virgo Cluster
Coordinates:  12 30 49.42 +12 23 28.04
Accepted distance: ~53,000,000 ly

Mainstream description
Extremely large elliptical galaxy that has no distinct dust lanes and has an almost featureless shape that decreases in luminosity with distance from its center. This object is a strong source of multi-wavelength synchrotron radiation, particularly radio waves.  There is a supermassive black hole in its core with a mass 3 billion times greater than the sun.   It ejects a jet of high energy plasma over 5,000 light-years into space at almost the speed of light.  The jet originates in a disk of superheated gas swirling around the black hole and is propelled and concentrated by the intense, twisted magnetic fields trapped within this plasma.

Alternative description
The jet is generated by a plasma focus which is the result of a galactic-scale electrical discharge.  This intense concentration of energy forms a plasmoid at the center of the galaxy.  The plasmoid accumulates electrical energy until it begins to break down, forming a powerful jet of synchrotron radiation, particles and neutrons along its axis. The neutrons decay into protons and electrons, forming hydrogen and some heavier elements by the process of neutron capture.

Messier 87 (Galaxy NGC 4486)Shannon Sims