Messier 89 or M89 (also designated NGC 4552) is a elliptical galaxy in the constellation Virgo. It has an apparent visual magnitude of 9.8 and its angular diameter is 4 arc-minutes. M89 lies at an estimated distance of 60 million light years. The Equinox 2000 coordinates are RA= 12h 35.7m, Dec= +12° 33´ which makes M89 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 M89 (right) and M90 (left) through the Takahashi E-180 Astrograph (North is up). A 3x enlargement of this image centered on M89 appears to the right.

This elliptical galaxy was discovered by Messier in 1781 and is a member of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies. According to Stoyan et al. (2010), the distance of M89 is 49.6 million light years and its diameter is 74,000 light years.

For more information, see the Messier Catalog as well as specific entries for M89 in Wikipedia and SEDS.

Messier's Description of M89

March 18, 1781
`Nebula without star, in Virgo, a little of distance from and on the same parallel as the nebula reported above, No. 87. Its light was extremely faint and pale, and and it is not without difficulty that one can distinguish it.'

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