Messier 84 or M84 (also designated NGC 4374) is a lenticular galaxy in the constellation Virgo. It has an apparent visual magnitude of 9.1 and its angular diameter is 5 arc-minutes. M84 lies at an estimated distance of 60 million light years. The Equinox 2000 coordinates are RA= 12h 25.1m, Dec= +12° 53´ which makes M84 best seen during the spring. The Messier Spring Star Chart shows the position of all Messier objects visible during that season.

The image above shows the uncropped view of M84 (upper right) through the Takahashi E-180 Astrograph (North is up). A 3x enlargement of this image centered on M84 appears to the right. The Virgo Cluster is rich with galaxies and more than a dozen are captured in the top image. M84 and M86 (right and left, respectively) are in the upper right while M87 is to the lower left.

This lenticular galaxy was discovered by Messier in 1781. It is one of the brighter members of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies. Along with M86, and a number of fainter NGC-numbered galaxies, it is part of Markarian's Chain of galaxies. It is also one of four lenticular galaxies in the Messier Catalog (M84, M85, M86, and M102).

According to Stoyan et al. (2010), the distance of M84 is 57.8 million light years and its diameter is 110,000 light years.

For more information, see the Messier Catalog as well as specific entries for M84 in Wikipedia and SEDS.

Messier's Description of M84

March 18, 1781
`Nebula without star, in Virgo; the center it is a bit brilliant, surrounded with a slight nebulosity: its brightness and its appearance resemble that of those in this Catalog, No.s 59 and 60.'

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