The Virgo Cluster is the closest large cluster of galaxies to the Milky Way. With over a thousand known members, the cluster spans an area of the sky about 5 by 3 degrees in size. While some of the most prominent members can be seen in smaller instruments, a 6-inch telescope will reveal about 160 … [Read more…]
Messier galaxies M84 and M86 are part of Markarian’s Chain, a striking stretch of galaxies that lie along a curved line near the heart of the Virgo Cluster. The string of galaxies – which also includes NGC 4477, NGC 4473, NGC 4461, NGC 4458, NGC 4438 and NGC 4435 – occupies more than a full … [Read more…]
Messier 87 (M87), also known as Virgo A or the Smoking Gun, is a supergiant elliptical galaxy located in the core of the Virgo Cluster, in the southern constellation Virgo. The galaxy has an apparent magnitude of 9.59 and lies at a distance of 53.5 million light years from Earth. It has the designation NGC … [Read more…]
Messier 84 (M84) is an elliptical or lenticular galaxy located in the inner region of the Virgo Cluster, in the constellation Virgo. The galaxy lies at an approximate distance of 60 million light years from Earth and has an apparent magnitude of 10.1. It has the designation NGC 4374 in the New General Catalogue.
Messier 61 (M61) is a barred spiral galaxy located in the southern constellation Virgo. M61 can be found in the southern portion of the Virgo Cluster. It occupies an area of 6 arc minutes, corresponding to a spatial diameter of about 100,000 light years. The galaxy has an apparent magnitude of 10.18 and lies at … [Read more…]