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