Elliptical galaxy M89 (NGC 4552)


UA 16-inch image of Messier 89

The elliptical galaxy Messier 89 (NGC 4552) in Virgo, shown in an R-band CCD image obtained with the UA 16-inch telescope. The field of view shown is 9.0 arcminutes wide. This is in a busy star-hopping part of the Virgo cluster. M87 lies 1.3 degrees to the west, M58 is a degree to the southeast, and wide-field eyepieces may show M90 in the same field only 40 arcminutes to the north. M89 has attracted attention because of its active nucleus. Long known to host a compact radio source, NGC 4552 showed a new trick when repeated Hubble observations showed a transient flare of ultraviolet light from the core. How often do things like this happen when no one has been looking? Maybe GALEX data will eventually tell us.



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