Messier 61, Oriani's Galaxy   HOME INDEX BACK NEXT

Galaxy in Virgo

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This beautiful face-on barred spiral galaxy was discovered in 1779 by Barnabas Oriani, a Catholic priest and accomplished astronomer, and it became the 61st entry in Messier's catalog. It is on the southern outskirts of the Virgo galaxy cluster. Two other, smaller spiral galaxies are visible nearby: NGC 4301 to the upper left, and NGC 4292 to the upper right.

Magnitude 9.3
Apparent Size 6.5' x 5.9'
Distance (light yrs) 52 million
Right Ascension 12:21.9
Declination +4 28
Field of View 35' x 26'

Image details:  Exposure times of 60 minutes luminance and 30 minutes each of red, green and blue, taken with an SBIG ST-8300M imager and a 12" Meade telescope at f/5.6.

April 2013