M59 is a magnitude 9.7 elliptical galaxy in Virgo. M59 is more massive than the Milky Way Galaxy, but is only about a quarter the size of our galaxy and is a much denser system. This galaxy was discovered in April 1779 by J.G. Koehler. Charles Messier discovered it that same year and recorded it on his chart of the comet of 1779. M59 is located in a region of the sky filled with numerous galaxies, many of which were too dim to be noticed by Messier. The bright galaxy in the upper left portion of this image is NGC 4667. The edge-on spiral galaxy in the lower right portion of this image is NGC 4607. The small galaxy to the right of M59 is IC 809. Three other faint galaxies are visible in this image, i.e., NGC 4637, IC 3653 and IC 3665.
This is an RGB color composite CCD image taken with an SBIG ST-8XE CCD on a Takahashi FCT-150 refractor at f7. This image was taken from my backyard in Scottsdale.
M59 (NGC 4621)
RA: 12h 42m 22s Dec: +11d 36' 39"
April 16, 2006
Image by Sid Leach
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