- Conference date: 25-25 October 1986
- Location: Berkeley, CA, USA
We review the history of the controversies surrounding the interpretation of the velocity dispersion and light profile in the center of M87. The most recent theoretical work suggests that the highly anisotropic velocity ellipsoid, which had been proposed as an alternative to a central massive object, is unstable to the formation of a bar. The current observations are just consistent with either a central, essentially point, mass or with a massive star cluster of the kind proposed by Dressler. However, the most recent observations of the center of M31 and M32 are difficult to reconcile with anything but a central point mass.
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