Messier 88 (NGC 4501)

Sketch of Messier 88 (M88 / NGC 4501)

Sketch of Messier 88 (NGC 4501)

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Observation Notes:

During the first few minutes of my observation, M88 appeared to be simply an elongated galaxy with a strongly condensed core aligned at about 135 degrees. After much time glued to the eyepiece, the northwest and southern edges took a slightly brighter appearance. A short north-south axis appeared between these brighter regions, suggesting a clockwise spiral form. A star marked the southeastern tip and a bold double star anchored the view about 6 arc minutes to the south.

Sketch/DSS Photo Comparison of Messier 88 (M88 / NGC 4501)

Sketch/DSS Photo Comparison of Messier 88 (NGC 4501)

Object Information:

M88 lies about 60 million light years distant, is estimated to be 130,000 light years in diameter and is receding at 2000 km/second. It was discovered by Charles Messier in 1781, and is also cataloged as NGC 4501, UGC 7675, MCG+03-32-059, h 1312, GC 3049, CGCG 099.076, VCC 1401, PGC 41517.

Subject M88 (NGC 4501)
Classification Spiral Galaxy (Sb/Sc I)
Position* Coma Berenices [RA: 12:31:59.1 / Dec: +14:25:15]
Size* 6.9′ x 3.7′ – PA: 140&deg
Brightness* 9.7 vMag; 10.3 bMag; 13.1 Surface Brightness
Date/Time APR 27, 2009 – 12:15 AM (APR 27, 2009 – 07:15 UT)
Observing Loc. Flagstaff, Arizona – Home
Instrument Orion SkyQuest XT8 Dobsonian (203 mm dia./1200 mm F/L)
Eyepieces/Mag. Pentax XW10 (120X)
Conditions Clear, calm, porch lights
Seeing 5/10
Transparency Mag 5.8 NELM
*Sources SEDS; NGC/IC Project; DSS; Starry Night Pro Plus 5; Atlas of the Messier Objects – Ronald Stoyan