Messier 90 or M90 (also designated NGC 4569) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Virgo. It has an apparent visual magnitude of 9.5 and its angular diameter is 9.5x4.5 arc-minutes. M90 lies at an estimated distance of 60 million light years. The Equinox 2000 coordinates are RA= 12h 36.8m, Dec= +13° 10´ which makes M90 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 M90 appears to the right.

This spiral galaxy was discovered by Messier in 1781. It is one of the larger, brighter spiral galaxies of the Virgo Cluster. According to Stoyan et al. (2010), the distance of M90 is 30.7 million light years and its diameter is 85,000 light years.

For more information, see the Messier Catalog as well as specific entries for M90 in Wikipedia and SEDS.

Messier's Description of M90

March 18, 1781
`Nebula without star, in Virgo: its light is as faint as the preceding, No. 89.'

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