M60 = NGC4649 ( 12h 43.7m +11°33´, 8.8 mag. )
M60 was discovered by Kohler in 1779 and Messier observed it on April 15 same year. This giant elliptical galaxy (measuring 118,000 ly across) is located 55 million ly away and forms a close pair with a small spiral galaxy NGC4647. M60 is located 56' SWW of 34 Virginis (see Virgo Cluster Map and the detailed chart below). Galaxies M58 and M59 are also nearby.
The above image was taken on April 12, 1999 from Sooke, BC. Cookbook 245 LDC CCD camera was used on Celestron Ultima 8 f6.3 telescope autoguided with Cookbook 211 LDC CCD camera on piggybacked 500mm f8 telephoto lens. Ten white exposures (240 sec. each) as well as cyan, magenta and yellow-filtered integrations (4 240 sec. each) were combined with AIP4WIN. Color image was the adjusted in Lab color space using Corel PhotoPaint 8.
Notice a striking color contrast between M60 and NGC4647. North is to the right.
Map created in Guide 7.0 - 2° x 3°. North is up.
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© Jan Wisniewski