M59 and M60
elliptical galaxies in Virgo

10.1'' reflector  43x with filter
M59 is to the left, M60 to the right, and NGC 4638 is above forming a triangle with the two. M59 appears slightly smaller and dimmer than M60, and M60 is a little brighter towards the center. NGC 4638 is an elongated elliptical galaxy often described as having a "stubby lens-shape". The three galaxies are about 2', 3', and 1' across respectively.

10.1'' reflector  Mallincam DS432cTEC with Nebular filter
Exposure = 20 sec, Gain = 50/250, Live Stacked frames = 75

The field in this photo is rotated 180 degrees from the previous sketch, with M60 now on the left, M59 on the right, and NGC 4638 below them. Note the "stubby lens-shape" of lenticlar NGC 4638, mentioned above, is more obvious in this photo. Aside from these three bright galaxies there are numerous other dimmer ones, as annotated above. PGC 1399187, at top, is listed at magnitude 16.72 at a size of 0.6' x 0.2'!

The little neighbour to M60, NGC 4647, displays its spiral structure as a faint halo around its core; it is 6 million light years farther than M60 (which is 57 million light years from us) but appears close to M60 due to the line-of-sight. Despite their distance, astronomers believe the pair are weakly interacting. Both, along with M59 and NGC 4638 are part of the Virgo Supercluster of galaxies.

North at 1 o'clock, East at 10 o'clock.