Galaxy Messier 88

Messier 88
Messier 88: Galaxy in Coma Berenices; 500 mm Cassegrain 3625 mm f/7.2; SBIG STL11K; 90+30+30+30 min LRGB; Bernese Highlands; © 2011 Radek Chromik

History

The galaxy M 88 was discovered by Charles Messier on March 18, 1787. He wrote: «Nebula without a star, in Virgo, between two small stars and a star of the sixth magnitude, which appear simultaneously in the field of view of the telescope. The brightness is one of the weaker and is like no. 58 in Virgo.» [281]

Physical Properties

Messier 88
Messier 88: Image taken with the Hubble Space Telescope [215]

M 88 is a spiral galaxy with well-defined and symmetrical spiral arms. It is about 47 million light years away and one of the fifteen Messier galaxies in the Virgo Cluster. It is a Seyfert galaxy and has an active core, which means that the central area of the galaxy is brighter than the rest of the galaxy. In the center there is a supermassive black hole with about 100 million solar masses. M 88 contains about 400 billion stars and is moving away from our galaxy. [215]

«Catalogue of Principal Galaxies (PGC)», Paturel et al. 1989 [144]
DesignationsPGC 41517: NGC 4501, UGC 7675, MCG 3-32-59, M 88, CGCG 99-76, VCC 1401
Right Ascension (J2000.0)12h 31m 59.5s
Declination (J2000.0)+14° 25' 17"
Morphological TypeS
Dimensions6.8' x 3.7'
Visual Magnitude10.2 mag
Radial Velocity (HRV)2279 km/s
Position Angle140°

Other Galaxies in that Area

«Catalogue of Principal Galaxies (PGC)», Paturel et al. 1989 [144]
NameRA [hms]Dec [dms]mTypeDim [']Btot [mag]HRV [km/s]PA [°]
IC 343212 30 27.4+14 09 32S.6 x .415.06019
IC 344212 31 20.2+14 06 54E.9 x .814.66210
IC 345412 31 38.6+27 29 46S1.2 x .215.7700926
PGC 4151512 31 59.0+14 18 27E.8 x .416.2
IC 347612 32 42.2+14 03 03IB2.2 x 1.913.1-17130
IC 347812 32 44.4+14 11 47LB1.1 x 1.014.41876
NGC 451612 33 07.7+14 34 32SB1.8 x .913.39580

Finder Chart

M 88 is located in the constellation Coma Berenices. The best observation time is January to July.

Chart M 88
Chart created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. [149, 160]

References

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)
149SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum; skysafariastronomy.com
160The STScI Digitized Sky Survey; archive.stsci.edu/cgi-bin/dss_form
215Explore - The Night Sky | Hubble’s Messier Catalog; nasa.gov/content/goddard/hubble-s-messier-catalog (2020-12-31)
281«Catalogue Nébuleuses et des Amas D'Étoiles» Observées à Paris, par M. Messier, à l'Observatoire de la Marine, hôtel de Clugni, rue des Mathurins. «Connoissance des temps ou connoissance des mouvements célestes, pour l'année bissextile 1784 » Page 227; gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k6514280n/f235 (2021-02-21)