M 87

Full resolution (1600x1200 px  350kB)

150% resolution (700kB)

Crop with 300% resolution

Object identification (350kB)

DSLR widefield image

Object data of M87

Object type: galaxy (E1)
Size: 8.7' x 6.6'
Magnitude: 9.6 mag
Constellation: Vir
Distance: 50 Mio Ly
Notes: The giant elliptical galaxy Messier 87, also called Virgo A, is the dominant galaxy in the closest big galaxy cluster to us, the famous Virgo Cluster of galaxies. M87 is famous for two peculiar and perhaps unique features, a huge globular cluster system (as can be seen in the above image), and a spectacular jet which is better seen on short exposure photographs.

This magnificient galaxy is perhaps the one with most known globular clusters. While our Milky Way has the modest number of roughly 150 to 200 globulars, M87 possesses a remarkable system of several thousands of these objects.

The giant jet, which is better visible in the cropped image, consists of ejected gaseous material from the core of the galaxy and extends thousands of light years.  

Exposure data

Date: 2012-04-12 + 21 + 23 + 24 + 2012-05-10 + 17 + 24 + 25 + 26 + 27
Location: Nussbach / Austria (400m)
Telescope: 12" Newtonian telescope (f=1120mm)
Camera: ST2000XM with CFW8 and Baader Filters
Binning: L 1x1 / RGB 1x1
Mount: WAM 650move
Exposure time: L 33x12m / R 12x12m / G 12x12m / B 12x12m
Exposure time total: 13h 48m
Notes: bad transparency and moderate seeing (2.2"-3.0")