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 a distance of 52.5 million light years from Earth. It has the designation NGC 4303 in the New General Catalogue. The best time of year to observe M61 is during the spring.
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