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M89

NGC 4552

Proper NamesNone
Messier NumberM89
NGC/IC NumberNGC 4552
ConstellationVirgo
Right Ascension12h 36m 42s
Declination+12° 26' 37.8"
Distancec.50,000,000 light years
c.15,300,000 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +9.7
Absolute: -21.3
DiameterApparent: 8.1'
Actual: 121,000 light years
Hubble TypeE0 Elliptical
Optimum VisibilityApril
NotesThis prominent elliptical galaxy lies at the heart of the Virgo Cluster. It appears to be unusually close to being spherical for a galaxy of its type. At the core of the galaxy is a supermassive black hole, and evidence exists that this object has been highly active in the past.

A galaxy of elliptical, and perhaps even spherical, form. It lies about sixty million light years from our own Milky Way Galaxy, in the Virgo Cluster of galaxies.

Image of M89 in Virgo

M89, a galaxy in the Virgo Cluster, has many curious features. Not only is it surrounded by a thin, spherical 'envelope' of matter, but it also has a tail-like 'tendril' that may represent a smaller galaxy coalescing with the main mass.

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