Galaxy Messier 49

Messier 49
Messier 49: Image taken by Hubble Space Telescope [273]

History

The galaxy was discovered by Charles Messier on February 19, 1771. He described it as «difficult to see in a 3.5 foot [focal length] telescope». It was the first and largest galaxy in the Virgo Cluster that he had discovered. [4, 196]

Physical Properties

M 49 is an elliptical Seyfert 2 galaxy of the morphological type E2, contains around 200 billion mostly old stars. The last stars formed here about six billion years ago - before the birth of our sun. The diameter is 157'000 light years. The measured distances range from 16.8 Mpc to 19.28 Mpc (approximately 55 to 63 million light years). A supermassive black hole with about 500 million solar masses is up to mischief in the extremely active core and is a powerful source of X-rays. M 49 is also rich in globular clusters. About 6000 were counted here. The Milky Way has just 150 of them. The average age of globular clusters is around 10 billion years. [145, 273]

«Catalogue of Principal Galaxies (PGC)», Paturel et al. 1989 [144]
DesignationsPGC 41220: NGC 4472, UGC 7629, MCG 1-32-83, M 49, CGCG 42-134, ARP 134, VCC 1226
Right Ascension (J2000.0)12h 29m 46.4s
Declination (J2000.0)+07° 59' 58"
Morphological TypeE
Dimensions9.8' x 8.2'
Visual Magnitude9.3 mag
Radial Velocity (HRV)913 km/s
Position Angle155°

Further Galaxies Nearby

Looking in the direction of M 49 there are other much smaller and fainter galaxies, which are listed here in tabular form only for the sake of shape.

«Catalogue of Principal Galaxies (PGC)», Paturel et al. 1989 [144]
NameRA [hms]Dec [dms]mTypeDim [']Btot [mag]HRV [km/s]PA [°]
NGC 443412 27 36.8+08 09 17E1.4 x 1.412.91073
NGC 446412 29 20.6+08 09 30S.9 x .713.612550
NGC 446512 29 23.6+08 01 37S.2 x .215.6
NGC 446712 29 30.3+07 59 38E.4 x .315.01474
NGC 446612 29 30.6+07 41 47S1.1 x .314.8760101
NGC 447012 29 37.9+07 49 21S1.3 x .913.123410
NGC 448812 30 51.3+08 21 43SB3.8 x 1.513.05
NGC 4492, IC 343812 30 59.9+08 04 39S1.7 x 1.613.31767

Finder Chart

M 49 is located in the constellation Virgo about halfway between the stars Vindemiatrix (π Virginis) and ν Virginis. The best way to see the galaxy is from February to June.

Chart Messier 49
Chart created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. [149, 160]

References

4«Burnham's Celestial Handbook: An Observer's Guide to the Universe Beyond the Solar System» by Robert Burnham; Dover Publications, Inc.; Voume I: ISBN 0-486-23567-X; Volume II: ISBN 0-486-23568-8; Volume III: ISBN 0-486-23673-0
144Catalogue of Principal Galaxies (PGC); Paturel G., Fouque P., Bottinelli L., Gouguenheim L.; Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser. 80, 299 (1989); cdsarc.unistra.fr/viz-bin/cat/VII/119 (2021-02-18)
145SIMBAD astronomical database; simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad
149SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum; skysafariastronomy.com
160The STScI Digitized Sky Survey; archive.stsci.edu/cgi-bin/dss_form
196Celestial Atlas by Curtney Seligman; cseligman.com/text/atlas.htm (2020-12-28)
273Invisible X-rays; esahubble.org/images/potw1911a (2021-02-15)