Spiral galaxy M61
Spiral galaxy M61 is in the constellation Virgo (Vir).
Equatorial coordinates (epoch J2000):
Ra 12h 21.9m, Dec +04° 28'
Visual magnitude: 9,6m
Distance to the galaxy M61 to the Sun is 49,6*106 light years
Angular size: 7'×6'
Class: Sc (SBbc)
External dimensions the galaxy M61 are about 94000 light years.
Estimated weight the galaxy: 70x109 suns
The mass of the central object (black hole): 100 000 suns
Discoverer: Barnaba Oriani, 05.05.1779 year.
The designation M61 in other catalogs: NGC 4303
Optimum magnification for a telescope with observations of M61, depending on the aperture of the telescope (D), is about D/6-D/3. Higher magnifications of course add details, but lead to a strong drop in the brightness of the image, making it difficult to observe.
The best month for observing M61 is May.
For observers in the northern latitudes: the night sky in May is no longer very dark, so try also to observe M61 in April.
Of course, in April the object is at midnight not at its highest point, which
provides the least exposure and atmospheric distortion. But, the darkness of the April sky greatly increases the contrast.
The farther south the location of your observation is located, the darker the summer sky will be.
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