elliptical galaxy in Virgo

10.1'' reflector  Mallincam DS432cTEC with 0.5x focal reducer and Nebular filter
Exposures = 10 sec for 20 frames + 15 sec for 11 frames, Gain = 7/250

M87, also known as Virgo-A, is a giant elliptical galaxy containing trillions of stars and is one of the brightest radio sources in the sky. Listed at 54 million light years away, M87 appears as a fairly compact bright round elliptical, about 3' across in this image.

Several other smaller galaxies are visible in this field of view. In the 7 o'clock direction from M87, about 7' away is a bright orange-coloured "star" that is NGC 4486A, a companion dwarf elliptical to M87. In the 4 o'clock direction and at about the same distance away is another elliptical, NGC 4478, slightly larger and fuzzier in size. About 4' to the right of it and slightly dimmer is NGC 4476, a 13th magitude lenticular galaxy. In the 8 o'clock direction from M87 and also 7' minutes away is an extremely faint dot that is IC 3443, a 15th magnitude dwarf elliptical about 90 million light years away.

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

Zoomed view of previous image 

In this close-up view of M87, the jet of energetic plasma travelling from the core which is is clearly visible using much larger telescopes can be seen here as a slight protrusion in the 3 o'clock direction. The jet is estimated to be about 4900 light years in length.

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