Messier 58

Observation Notes:

M58 was my final Virgo Cluster galaxy observation on the evening of July 25. The core was faintly stellar and had a soft plateau of brightness that then dropped off gradually at the edges. It was mildly elliptical at a PA of about 70 degrees. The NGCIC project database notes a PA of 95 degrees. Checking the DSS Image shows the extended outer halo aligning reasonably well to 95 degrees. The inner core region however does line up closely to 70 degrees and is certainly the only portion I actually saw that night.

Object Information:

As with its neighbors, M58 lies about 60 million light years away. It is one of the brightest members of the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies. Charles Messier discovered M58 on April 15, 1779 along with M59 and M60 while observing the comet of 1779.

M58 is also cataloged as: NGC 4579, UGC 7796, MCG+02-32-160, CGCG 070.197, h 1368, GC 3121, VCC 1727, IRAS 12351+1205, PGC 42168

Subject M58 (NGC 4579)
Classification* Spiral Galaxy (Sb)
Position* Virgo [RA: 12:37:43.5 / Dec: 11:49:05]
Size* 5.9′ x 4.7′
Brightness* 10.1 vMag
Date/Time June 25, 2008 – 10:20 PM MST (June 26, 2008 – 05:20 UT)
Observing Loc. Flagstaff, AZ – Home
Instrument Orion SkyQuest XT8 (203 mm dia./1200 mm F/L)
Eyepieces/Mag. 10 mm Sirius Plössl (120X)
Conditions Clear, calm
Seeing 5/10 Pickering
Transparency ~ Mag 5.5 NELM
*References SEDS; NGCIC.org

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