Messier Index/M60

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Messier 60
Observation data (w:J2000 epoch)
Constellation Virgo[1]
Right ascension 12h 43m 39.6s[2]
Declination +11° 33′ 09″[2]
Redshift 1117 ± 6 km/s[2]
Distance 55 ± 4 Mly (16.8 ± 1.2 Mpc)[3]
Type E2[2]
Apparent dimensions (V) 7′.4 × 6′.0[2]
Apparent magnitude (V) 9.8[2]
Other designations
M60, NGC 4649,[2] UGC 7898,[2] PGC 42831[2] Arp 116[2]

Messier 60 (also known as NGC 4649) is an w:elliptical galaxy approximately 55 million w:light-years away in the w:constellation Virgo.


Messier 60 and the nearby galaxy w:Messier 59 were both discovered by w:Johann Gottfried Koehler in April w:1779 during observations of a w:comet in the same part of the sky.[4] w:Charles Messier listed both in the w:Messier Catalogue about three days after Koehler's discovery.[4]

NGC 4647

M60 and NGC 4647

w:NGC 4647 appears approximately 2′.5 away from Messier 60; the optical disks of the two galaxies overlap. Although this overlap suggests that the galaxies are interacting, photographic images of the two galaxies do not reveal any evidence for gravitational interactions between the two galaxies as would be suggested if the two galaxies were physically close to each other.[5] This suggests that the galaxies are at different distances and are only weakly interacting if at all.[5]

Virgo Cluster membership

M60 is the third-brightest giant elliptical galaxy of the w:Virgo cluster of galaxies, and is the dominant member of a subcluster of four galaxies, which is the closest-known isolated compact group of galaxies.


A w:supernova (w:SN 2004W) was observed in Messier 60.

Black Hole

At the center of M60 is a w:black hole of 4.5 billion solar masses, one of the largest ever found.[6]

External links


  1. R. W. Sinnott, editor (1988). The Complete New General Catalogue and Index Catalogue of Nebulae and Star Clusters by J. L. E. Dreyer. Sky Publishing Corporation and Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-933-34651-4. 
  2. a b c d e f g h i j "NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database". Results for NGC 4649. Retrieved 2006-12-13. 
  3. J. L. Tonry, A. Dressler, J. P. Blakeslee, E. A. Ajhar, A. B. Fletcher, G. A. Luppino, M. R. Metzger, C. B. Moore (2001). "The SBF Survey of Galaxy Distances. IV. SBF Magnitudes, Colors, and Distances". Astrophysical Journal 546 (2): 681–693. doi:10.1086/318301. 
  4. a b K. G. Jones (1991). Messier's Nebulae and Star Clusters (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-37079-5. 
  5. a b A. Sandage, J. Bedke (1994). Carnegie Atlas of Galaxies. Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institution of Washington. ISBN 0-87279-667-1. 
  6. The Supermassive Black Hole and Dark Matter Halo of NGC 4649 (M60)