in the constellation Ursa Major
36 million to 45 million times the mass of the Sun
Diameter roughly equal to the size of Earth's orbit around the Sun
NGC 2787 is classified as a lenticular galaxy, which means it is shaped something like a lens. Images from Hubble Space Telescope show some spiral structure in filaments of dark gas near the galaxy's core.
Measurements of the speed of gas quite near the center of the galaxy show that it is accelerated to high speed, probably by a supermassive black hole. Astronomers used Hubble to take picture of the galaxy in part to help them study its black hole, which will help them learn more about the relationship between supermassive black holes and their parent galaxies.
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This document was last modified: November 19, 2009.