MANY galaxies are thought to contain massive black holes— exceeding ten million solar masses—at their centres1,2, but firm observational evidence has proved to be surprisingly elusive. The best evidence comes from observing gas or stars rotating rapidly within a small region around a central body. If the observed velocities are due solely to the gravitational force of the central body—as in the Solar System-then the mass of the central body can be readily calculated. Here we present observations of rotating gas near the centre of the galaxy NGC4258 (Ml06), which indicate the presence of a mass of 3.6 x 1077solar masses in a region less than 0.13 pc in radius. The volume-averaged mass density in this region exceeds by a factor of at least 40 that for any other black-hole candidate observed previously. These observations provide compelling evidence that a massive black hole exists at the centre of NGC4258.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution
Open Access articles citing this article.
Living Reviews in Relativity Open Access 15 May 2018
Space Science Reviews Open Access 23 January 2018
Subscribe to this journal
Receive 51 print issues and online access
$199.00 per year
only $3.90 per issue
Rent or buy this article
Prices vary by article type
Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout
Rees, M. J. A. Rev. Astr. Astrophys. 22, 471–506 (1989).
Begelman, M. C., Blandford, R. D. & Rees, M. J. Rev. mod. Phys. 56, 255–351 (1984).
Claussen, M. J., Hellingman, G. M. & Lo, K. Y. Nature 310, 298–300 (1984).
Claussen, M. J. & Lo, K. Y. Astrophys. J. 308, 592–599 (1986).
Nakai, N., Inoue, M. & Miyoshi, M. Nature 361, 45–47 (1993).
Greenhill, L. J. et al. Astrophys. J. (in the press).
Haschick, A. D., Baan, W. A. & Peng, E. W. Astrophys. J. 437, L35–L38 (1994).
Greenhill, L. J., Henkel, C., Becker, R., Wilson, T. L. & Wouterloot, J. G. A. Astr. Astrophys. (in the press).
Watson, W. D. & Wallin, B. K. Astrophys. J. 432, L35–L38 (1994).
Zensus, J. A., Diamond, P. J. & Napier, P. J. VLBI Summer School (Astr. Soc. Pacific, San Francisco, in the press).
Frank, J., King, A. & Raine, D. Accretion Power in Astrophysics 74 (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1992).
Ford, H. C. et al. Astrophys. J. 435, L27–L30 (1994).
Harmes, R. J. et al. Astrophys. J. 435, L35–L38 (1994).
Kormendy, J. & Richstone, D. Astrophys. J. 393, 559–578 (1992).
Eckart, A., Genzel, R., Hofman, R., Sams, B. J. & Tacconi-Garman, L. E. Astrophys. J. 407, L77–L80 (1993).
Cecil, G., Wilson, A. S. & Tully, R. B. Astrophys. J. 390, 365–377 (1992).
Lonsdale, C. J., Diamond, P. J., Smith, H. E. & Lonsdale, C. J. Nature 370, 117–120 (1994).
Haschick, A. D. et al. Astrophys. J. 356, 149–155 (1990).
Turner, J. L. & Ho, P. T. P. Astrophys. J. 421, 122–139 (1994).
Henkel, C. et al. Astr. Astrophys. 141, L1–L3 (1984).
Neufeld, D. A., Maloney, P. R. & Conger, S. Astrophys. J. 436, L127–L130 (1994).
Cecil, G., Wilson, A. S. & DePree, C. Astrophys. J. (in the press).
Binney, J. A. Rev. Astr. Astrophys. 30, 51–74 (1992).
Arnaboldi, M. & Galletta, G. Astr. Astrophys. 268, 411–417 (1993).
Courtès, G. et al. Astr. Astrophys. 268, 419–442 (1993).
Hubble, E. Astrophys. J. 97, 112–118 (1943).
About this article
Cite this article
Miyoshi, M., Moran, J., Herrnstein, J. et al. Evidence for a black hole from high rotation velocities in a sub-parsec region of NGC4258. Nature 373, 127–129 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1038/373127a0
This article is cited by
Nature Astronomy (2022)
Nature Astronomy (2022)
Astrophysics and Space Science (2022)
Journal of Optics (2021)
Astrophysics and Space Science (2021)