Messier 61

Messier 61

Messier 61[1]
Messier 61 taken by Hubble[2]
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA. Acknowledgement: Det58
Observation data
Epoch J2000
Constellation Virgo
Right ascension 12h 21m 54.9s[3]
Declination +04° 28′ 25″[3]
Apparent dimension (V) 6.5 × 5.8 moa[3]
Apparent magnitude (V) 10.18
Type SAB(rs)bc,[3] HIISy2[3]
Heliocentric radial velocity 1566 ± 2[3]km/s
Redshift 0.005224 ± 0.000007[3]
Galactocentric velocity 1483 ± 4[3] km/s
Distance 52.5 ± 2.3 Mly (16.10 ± 0.71 Mpc)
Other designations
NGC 4303,[3] UGC 07420,[3] PGC 040001,[3] MCG +01-32-022,[3] USGC U490 NED310,[3] MRC 1219+047,[3] GC 2878
Database references
SIMBAD Search M61 data
See also: Galaxy, List of galaxies

Messier 61 (also known as M61 or NGC 4303) is a barred spiral galaxy in the Virgo Cluster. It was discovered by Barnabus Oriani on May 5, 1779.


  • Properties 1
  • Gallery 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


M61 is one of the largest members of Virgo, belonging to the subunit known as S Cloud[4][5]

It has an Active galactic nucleus[6] and it is classified as a starburst galaxy, with a candidate supermassive black hole with a mass around 5 million times that of our Sun on its center.[7] This object is associated with a young, massive star cluster with a mass 100,000 times the one of the Sun, a radius of 3.1 parsecs and an age of 4 million years.[8] Surrounding it, there's a nuclear spiral with a radius of 225 parsecs formed by several massive star-forming regions,[9] that may be associated with a second bar much smaller than the main one of this galaxy.[10]

Star formation is also high across M61's disk,[11] perhaps due to interactions with her satellite galaxies NGC 4292 and NGC 4303B.[12]

Unlike most late-type galaxies of the Virgo Cluster, M61 does not show a deficiency of neutral hydrogen[13]

Seven supernovae have been observed in this galaxy making it one of the most active Supernova galaxies known:[14][15][16]

  • SN 2014dt
  • SN 2008in
  • SN 2006ov
  • SN 1999gn
  • SN 1964F
  • SN 1961I
  • SN 1926A



  1. ^ Tschöke, D.; Hensler, G.; Junkes, N. (2000). "X-rays from the barred galaxy NGC 4303".  
  2. ^ "A hungry starburst galaxy". ESA/Hubble Picture of the Week. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database". Results for M 61. Retrieved 2006-11-18. 
  4. ^ "Galaxy On Line Database Milano Network (GOLDMine)". Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  5. ^ "The Virgo Cluster". Retrieved 2013-04-06. 
  6. ^ Jiménez-Bailón, E.; Santos-Lleó, M.; Mas-Hesse, J. M.; Guainazzi, M.; Colina, L.; Cerviño, M.; González Delgado, Rosa M. (2003). "Nuclear Activity and Massive Star Formation in the Low-Luminosity Active Galactic Nucleus NGC 4303: Chandra X-Ray Observations".  
  7. ^ Pastorini, G.; Marconi, A.; Capetti, A.; Axon, D. J.; Alonso-Herrero, A.; Atkinson, J.; Batcheldor, D.; Carollo, C. M.; Collett, J.; Dressel, L.; Hughes, M. A.; Macchetto, D.; Maciejewski, W.; Sparks, W.; van der Marel, R. (2007). "Supermassive black holes in the Sbc spiral galaxies NGC 3310, NGC 4303 and NGC 4258".  
  8. ^ Colina, Luis; Gonzalez Delgado, Rosa; Mas-Hesse, J. Miguel; Leitherer, Claus (2002). "Detection of a Super-Star Cluster as the Ionizing Source in the Low-Luminosity Active Galactic Nucleus NGC 4303".  
  9. ^ Colina, Luis; Garcia Vargas, Maria Luisa; Mas-Hesse, J. Miguel; Alberdi, A.; Krabbe, A. (1997). "Nuclear Spiral and Ring Star-forming Structures and the Starburst--Active Galactic Nucleus Connection in Barred Spirals NGC 3351 and NGC 4303".  
  10. ^ Schinnerer, Eva; Maciejewski, Witold; Scoville, Nick; Moustakas, Leonidas A. (2002). "Toward the Secondary Bar: Gas Morphology and Dynamics in NGC 4303".  
  11. ^ Koopmann, R.; Kenney, J. D. P. (2004). "Hα Morphologies and Environmental Effects in Virgo Cluster Spiral Galaxies". The Astrophysical Journal 613 (2): 866–885.  
  12. ^ Cayatte, V.; van Gorkom, J. H.; Balkowski, C.; Kotanyi, C. (1990). "VLA observations of neutral hydrogen in Virgo Cluster galaxies. I - The Atlas".  
  13. ^ Kenney, J. D.; Young, J. S. (1986). "CO in H I-deficient Virgo cluster spiral galaxies".  
  14. ^ Supernovae which have been observed in Messier catalog galaxies
  15. ^ "List of Supernovae".  
  16. ^ "Supernova in M61 (NGC 4303)". Retrieved 1 November 2014. 

External links

  • Messier 61 on WikiSky: DSS2, SDSS, GALEX, IRAS, Hydrogen α, X-Ray, Astrophoto, Sky Map, Articles and images