Messier 60

Messier 60
Messier object 060.jpg
M60 by 2MASS
Observation data (J2000 epoch)
Constellation Virgo[1]
Right ascension 12h 43m 39.6s[2]
Declination +11° 33′ 09″[2]
Redshift 0.003726[2]
Helio radial velocity 1117 ± 6 km/s[2]
Distance 55 ± 4 Mly (16.8 ± 1.2 Mpc)[3]
Type E2[2]
Apparent dimensions (V) 7′.4 × 6′.0[2]
Apparent magnitude (V) 9.8[2]
Other designations
M60, NGC 4649,[2] UGC 7898,[2] PGC 42831[2] Arp 116[2]
See also: Galaxy, List of galaxies

Messier 60 (also known as NGC 4649) is an elliptical galaxy approximately 55 million light-years away[3] in the constellation Virgo.



Messier 60 and the nearby galaxy Messier 59 were both discovered by Johann Gottfried Koehler in April 1779 during observations of a comet in the same part of the sky.[4] Charles Messier listed both in the Messier Catalogue about three days after Koehler's discovery.[4]

NGC 4647

M60 and NGC 4647

NGC 4647 appears approximately 2′.5 away from Messier 60; the optical disks of the two galaxies overlap. Although this overlap suggests that the galaxies are interacting, photographic images of the two galaxies do not reveal any evidence for gravitational interactions between the two galaxies as would be suggested if the two galaxies were physically close to each other.[5] This suggests that the galaxies are at different distances and are only weakly interacting if at all.[5]

Virgo Cluster membership

M60 is the third-brightest giant elliptical galaxy of the Virgo cluster of galaxies, and is the dominant member of a subcluster of four galaxies, which is the closest-known isolated compact group of galaxies.


A supernova (SN 2004W) was observed in Messier 60.[6]

Black Hole

At the center of M60 is a black hole of 4.5 billion solar masses, one of the largest ever found.[7]

See also


  1. ^ R. W. Sinnott, ed (1988). The Complete New General Catalogue and Index Catalogue of Nebulae and Star Clusters by J. L. E. Dreyer. Sky Publishing Corporation /Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-933-34651-4. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database". Results for Messier 60. Retrieved 2006-12-13. 
  3. ^ a b 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. arXiv:astro-ph/0011223. Bibcode 2001ApJ...546..681T. doi:10.1086/318301. 
  4. ^ a b K. G. Jones (1991). Messier's Nebulae and Star Clusters (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-37079-5. 
  5. ^ a b A. Sandage, J. Bedke (1994). Carnegie Atlas of Galaxies. Carnegie Institution of Washington. ISBN 0-87279-667-1. 
  6. ^ [1] Supernova 2004W in M60
  7. ^ Juntai Shen, Karl Gebhardt (2010). "The Supermassive Black Hole and Dark Matter Halo of NGC 4649 (M60)". arXiv:0910.4168 [astro-ph]. 

External links

Coordinates: Sky map 12h 43m 39.6s, +11° 33′ 09″

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