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Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2008

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M61, Jared Rushlau

M61

M61 is a spiral galaxy located in the constellation Virgo. It is located in the southern most part of the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies and can be identified by its bright nucleus and fuzzy outer spirals.M61, also known as NGC 4303, was first discovered in 1779 and was originally confused for a comet by Messier until, after two nights of observation, he realized it did not move in the sky. It then became Messier 61 or M61.. It is quite large measuring 100,000 light years across which is similar to our galaxy, the milky way. Galaxy has produced six supernovae that have been recorded since 1926. It is 60 million light years away.

This is a color picture of M61 using Blue, Red, Green and Clear filters. The angular size of M61 is 4.2 arc minutes. The linear size of M61 as shown in this picture is 73000 light years.

References:
Frommert, Hartmut and Kronberg, Christine. "Messier 61." Nine Planets. <http://astro.nineplanets.org/twn/n7293x.html>.

Frommert, Hartmut and Kronberg, Christine. "NGC 4303 = M61." Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.<http://www.seds.org/~spider/ngc/ngc.cgi?M61>

Right Ascension (J2000) 12:22:24.5
Declination (J2000) +04:24:42
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 5x60 seconds in C, 300 seconds in BVR
Date observed

April 2, 2009 (BVRC)