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Galaxy

Messier 58

Messier 58 (M58) is a barred spiral galaxy located in the constellation Virgo, reaching its annual culmination at astronomical midnight around end-March.

Messier 58 is one of the brightest spiral galaxies in the Virgo Cluster. It was discovered by Charles Messier in 1779 and is classified as a barred spiral galaxy. M58 exhibits a well-defined central bar and two prominent spiral arms. It is an example of an active galaxy with regions of intense star formation.

Catalog Numbers

  • Messier 58 (M58)
  • UGC 7796
  • NGC 4579

Position and the cosmic neighborhood

Messier 58 is situated within the Virgo Cluster, a massive assembly of galaxies. It lies in the northern part of the Virgo constellation, close to several other prominent Messier objects such as M59, M60, and M87. This region of the sky is densely populated with galaxies, making it a rich field for observation. M58 itself is positioned about 62 million light-years from Earth.

Facts

  • Messier 58 is one of the few barred spiral galaxies included in the Messier catalog.
  • It was discovered by Charles Messier on April 15, 1779, while he was observing a comet.
  • M58 has an active galactic nucleus, indicating the presence of a supermassive black hole at its center.

Brightness, Distance and size

Messier 58 has an apparent magnitude of 9.6, making it visible through small telescopes under dark skies. It is located approximately 62 million light-years from Earth. The galaxy spans about 100,000 light-years in diameter, comparable in size to the Milky Way. In the sky, it appears to cover an area of 9 by 4 arcminutes.

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