Messier Index/M89

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Messier 89[1]
Observation data (w:J2000 epoch)
Constellation Virgo
Right ascension 12h 35m 39.8s[2]
Declination +12° 33′ 23″[2]
Type E[2], w:LINER[2], HIISy2[2]
Apparent magnitude (V) 10.73[2]
Other designations
NGC 4552,[2] UGC 7760,[2] PGC 41968[2]

Messier 89 (M89 for short, also known as NGC 4552) is an w:elliptical galaxy in the constellation Virgo. It was discovered by w:Charles Messier on w:March 18 w:1781. M89 is a member of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies.[3]

Unusual features

Current observations indicate that M89 may be nearly perfectly spherical in shape. This would be unusual as all other known elliptic galaxies are relatively elongated w:ellipsoids.[citation needed] However, it is possible that the galaxy is oriented in such a way that it appears spherical to an observer on Earth but is in fact elliptical.

The galaxy also features a surrounding structure of gas and dust extending up to 150,000 light-years from the galaxy and jets of heated particles that extend 100,000 light-years outwards, indications that it may have once been an active w:quasar or w:radio galaxy.[4]

M89 also has a large population of w:globular clusters as compared to the w:Milky Way's 150-200, a w:2006 survey out to 10′ of its core estimates that there are 2,000 ± 700 globulars within 25′ of M89.[5]


  1. 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. 
  2. a b c d e f g h i "NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database". Results for NGC 4552. Retrieved 2006-10-24. 
  3. Elliptical Galaxy M89 @ SEDS Messier pages
  4. Messier Objects 81-90 @ Sea and Sky
  5. Tamura, Naoyuki; Sharples, Ray M.; Arimoto, Nobuo; Onodera, Masato; Ohta, Kouji; Yamada, Yoshihiko (2006). "A Subaru/Suprime-Cam wide-field survey of globular cluster populations around M87 - I. Observation, data analysis and luminosity function". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Online Early: 588. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2006.11067.x.