Messier 98 ~ A Spiral Galaxy!
Optics: RC Optical System 20" F/8.2 (4165.6 mm Focal Length) Date: April 2017
Camera: SBIG STXL-11000 with AO-X Adaptive Optics Location: Columbus, Texas
Exposure: LRGB = 430:80:60:90 minutes Imager: Kent E. Biggs
Messier 98 (also M98 or NGC 4192) is one of the few Messier objects that does not have a common name. It is a spiral galaxy about 45 million light years away toward the constellation Coma Berenices which means Berenice's Hair in Latin and refers to Queen Berenice II of Egypt, who sacrificed her long hair as an offering. M98 is somewhat unique due to its blue shift as it is approaching our Milky Way Galaxy at about 90 miles per second, but no worries, it will not be here for 100 billion years, if ever. It has features of both barred galaxies and normal spiral galaxies and is highly inclined to our line of sight. M98 is part of the Virgo Galaxy cluster, a relatively nearby cluster of galaxies. Hovering over the image with a mouse, highlights the extent of M98 and several other galaxies in the image, some nearby some very distant. Most notable are NGC 4186 and PGC 39002, two beautiful but small spiral galaxies. Also note that AGC 1499 is highlighted with a thin circle and is a member of the Abell Galaxy Catalog AGC or ACO. This catalog contains approximately 4000 galaxy clusters with at least 30 members catalogued by George Abell in 1958 using photographic plates available at the time. The AGC 1499 cluster has 85 galaxies, many very small and faintly visible if you click on the image making it full screen. The stats for M98 are RA 12h 13m 48s, Dec +14° 54' 00", Mag: 11.0, Size: 9.8'x2.7', Class: SAB(s)ab.