The giant elliptical galaxy Messier 86 (NGC 4406) in Virgo, shown in an R-band CCD image obtained with the UA 16-inch telescope. The field of view is about 0.5 degrees east-west.
M86 is one of the brightest elliptical galaxies in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster. It appears at lower right here, to fit additional interesting galaxies in the field of view. To its north is the edge-on spirasl NGC 4402, with a characteristically scalloped appearance to its dust pane. To the east (left) is the high-velocity interacting pair NGC 4435/8, where the tidal effects on the larger NGC 4438 are produced by NGC 4435 whipping by at somewhat more than 1000 km/second. All these galaxies are part of the grouping known as Markarian's Chain.
Last changes: 5/2006 © 2006