Messier 88 (also known as M88 or NGC 4501) is a spiral galaxy about 50 to 60 million light-years away in the constellation Coma Berenices. It was discovered by Charles Messier in 1781.
88 is one of the fifteen Messier objects that belong to the nearby Virgo Cluster of galaxies. It is galaxy number 1401 in the Virgo Cluster Catalogue (VCC) of 2096 galaxies that are candidate members of the cluster. M88 may be on a highly elliptical orbit that is carrying it toward the cluster center, which is occupied by the giant elliptical galaxy Messier 87. It is currently 0.3–0.48 million parsecs from the center and will come closest to the core in about 200–300 million years. The motion of M88 through the intergalactic medium of the Virgo cluster is creating ram pressure that is stripping away the outer region of neutral hydrogen. This stripping has already been detected along the western, leading edge of the galaxy.
HGS Session References
- Messier 88
- HGS Session
Found in HGS Manual on Page 108 Found in HGS Manual on Page 115