Messier 61. NGC 4303

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Messier 61, or NGC 4303, is a barred spiral galaxy located about 53 million light years away, in the constellation Virgo. Classified morphologically as SABbc, M61 has an AGN (Active Galactic Nucleus) and is known to be a starburst galaxy. It has long been debated whether M61 had a supermassive black hole in its center. The fact that this galaxy is seen nearly face-on (about 75 degrees) makes it difficult to determine the mass of the black hole from kinetic measurements. Anyhow, in 2018, Pastorini et al.  calculated its mass to be between 4 and 7 million solar masses. Messier 61 is a galaxy also known to have many supernovae, with eight such explosions in one century (the first one was discovered in 1926 and the latest one in 2020).


Additional Information


Name(s): Messier 61. M61. NGC 4303

Type: Barred Spiral Galaxy Type SABbc

RA:  12h 21m 54s

Dec: +04º 28’ 28”

Constellation: Virgo

Size (arcmin): 7×6 arcmin

Magnitude: 10.2

Distance: 53 Mly


Date: 2022-03-08 to 2022-03-27

Location: Curiosity2 Observatory, New Mexico Skies, Mayhill, NM, USA

Size (arcmin): 29×30 arcmin

Telescope: 24” (61 cm) f/6.5 Reflector

Camera: FLI PL16803 (4096x4096pix)

Guiding: Astrodon MonsterMOAG off-axis guider

Total exposure: 15 hours (L: 6h; RGB: 9h)

Processing: CCDStack, Photoshop CC 2022

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