Messier 85

Messier 85

Messier 85
Observation data (J2000 epoch)
Constellation Coma Berenices
Right ascension 12h 25m 24.0s[1]
Declination +18° 11′ 28″[1]
Redshift 729 ± 2 km/s[1]
Distance 60 ± 4 Mly (18.5 ± 1.2 Mpc)[2]
Type SA(s)0+ pec[1]/E2[3]
Apparent dimensions (V) 7′.1 × 5′.5[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 10.0[1]
Other designations
NGC 4382, UGC 7508, PGC 40515[1]

Messier 85 (also known as M85 or NGC 4382 or PGC 40515 or ISD 0135852) is a lenticular galaxy, or elliptical galaxy for other authors,[3] in the Coma Berenices constellation. It is 60 million light years away, and it is estimated to be 125,000 light years across.

It was discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1781. It is the northernmost outlier of the Virgo cluster discovered as of 2004.


It is extremely poor in neutral hydrogen[4] and has a very complex outer structure with shells and ripples that are thought to have been caused by a merger with another galaxy that took place between 4 and 7 billion years ago,[4] as well as a relatively young (<3 billion years old) stellar population on its centermost region, some of it in a ring, that may have been created by a late starburst.[5]

While indirect methods imply that Messier 85 should contain a central supermassive black hole of around 100 million solar masses,[6] velocity dispersion observations imply that the galaxy may entirely lack a central massive black hole.[7]

The type I supernova, 1960R was discovered in M85 on December 20, 1960 and reached an apparent magnitude of 11.7.

This galaxy has also been the host of the first luminous red nova identified as such, M85 OT2006-1. It was discovered on January 7 of 2006 and took place on the outskirts of this galaxy.[8]

M85 is interacting with the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 4394, and a small elliptical galaxy called MCG 3-32-38.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database". Results for Messier 85. Retrieved 2006-11-18. 
  2. ^ J. L. Tonry; A.Dressler; J. P. Blakeslee; E. A. Ajhar; et al. (2001). "The SBF Survey of Galaxy Distances. IV. SBF Magnitudes, Colors, and Distances".  
  3. ^ a b Kormendy, John; Fisher, David B.; Cornell, Mark E.; Bender, Ralf (2009). "Structure and Formation of Elliptical and Spheroidal Galaxies".  
  4. ^ a b Hibbard, J. E.; Sansom, A. E. (2003). "A Search for H I in Five Elliptical Galaxies with Fine Structure".  
  5. ^ Fisher, David; Franx, Marijn; Illingworth, Garth (1996). "Line Strengths and Line-Strength Gradients in S0 Galaxies".  
  6. ^ Kormendy, John; Bender, Ralf (2009). "Correlations between Supermassive Black Holes, Velocity Dispersions, and Mass Deficits in Elliptical Galaxies with Cores".  
  7. ^ Gultekin, Kayhan; Richstone, Douglas O.; et al. (2011). "Is There a Black Hole in NGC 4382?".  
  8. ^ Kulkarni, S. R.; Ofek, E. O.; Rau, A.; Cenko, S. B.; et al. (2007). "An unusually brilliant transient in the galaxy M85".  
  9. ^ "M85, Lenticular Galaxy". Messier's Nebulae and Star Clusters. Retrieved 2009-03-29. 

External links

  • Messier 85 on WikiSky: DSS2, SDSS, GALEX, IRAS, Hydrogen α, X-Ray, Astrophoto, Sky Map, Articles and images
  • SEDS Lenticular Galaxy M85
  • Merrifield, Michael. "M85 – Lenticular Galaxy". Deep Space Videos.