Elliptical galaxy M87
Elliptical galaxy M87 or Virgo A galaxy is in the constellation Virgo (Vir).
Equatorial coordinates (epoch J2000):
Ra 12h 30.8m, Dec +12° 23'
Visual magnitude: 8,6m
Distance to the galaxy M87 to the Sun is 54,9*106 light years
Angular size: 8'×7'
External dimensions the galaxy M87 are about 132000 light years.
Estimated weight the galaxy: 2700x109 suns
The mass of the central object (black hole): 2000-3000x106 suns
Discoverer: Pierre François André Méchain, 18.03.1781 year.
The designation M87 in other catalogs: NGC 4486
Optimum magnification for a telescope with observations of M87, 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 M87 is May.
For observers in the northern latitudes: the night sky in May is no longer very dark, so try also to observe M87 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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