M89 Elliptical Galaxy With outer Shells

Messier 89 (M89 for short, also known as NGC 4552) is an elliptical galaxy in the constellation Virgo. It was discovered by Charles Messier on March 18, 1781. M89 is a member of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies. Current observations indicate that M89 may be nearly perfectly spherical in shape. This is unusual, since all other known elliptic galaxies are relatively elongated ellipsoids. However, it is possible that the galaxy is oriented in such a way that it appears spherical to an observer on Earth but is in fact elliptical.

The galaxy also features a surrounding structure of gas and dust extending up to 150,000 light-years from the galaxy and Nice tidal tail/stream that extend 100,000 light-years outwards. It also has an extensive and complex system of shells and plumes surrounding it originated in one or several mergers.

The outer Shells and plumes were descovered by David Malin in 1979.


Telescope: Planewave 17" f6.7 on a Planewave HD Mount Camera: SBIG 16803

Location: Stellar Winds Observatory at DSNM, Animas, New Mexico

Exposure: Luminance 1000min 240 of each RGB