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M 60

Elipticna galaksija - Elliptical Galaxy M60 (NGC 4649), type E2, in virgo

Rektascenzija 12 : 43.7 (u:m)
Deklinacija +11 : 33 (sto:m)
Razdalja 60000 (*1000 sv.l.)
Vizual. magnituda 8.8 (mag)
Zorni kot 7x6 (loc min)

M60 is one of the giant elliptical galaxies in the Virgo Cluster of galaxies. As the most following (eastern) Messier galaxy in this cluster, it is the last in a row of 3 (M58, 59, and 60) which comes into the field of view of a telescope pointed to this region of the sky. At small magnifications, it lies in the same field of view as M59 (25 arc minutes away).

At its distance of some 60 million light years, this galaxy's apparent diameter of 7x6 arc minutes corresponds to a linear diameter of 120,000 light years. Amateur telescopes, however, do only show its bright central region of about 4x3 arc minutes diameter. Its visually 9th apparent magnitude makes it a very bright galaxy of absolute magnitude -22.3, corresponding to an intrinsic luminosity of 60 billion suns, substantially more than the 300 million quoted in Mallas/Kreimer's Messier album.

M60 is conspicuous in telescopes starting from 4 inch because of its faint neighbor, NGC 4647, shown in the image. Photographs obtained with larger instruments, such as this one, show a large system of faint globular clusters; according to W.E. Harris' list, M60 has a respectable number of about 5100 of these objects in its halo.

  • M60 images from the University of Alabama

    Povzeto po:
    Hartmut Frommert (spider@seds.org)
    Christine Kronberg (smil@lrz.uni-muenchen.de)

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