M61 (NGC4303) is a faced-on (type SAB(rs)bc) barred spiral-galaxy in the constellation of Virgo of apparent magnitude 10.18mag and a size of 6.5´ x 5.9´. It is one of the largest members of the Virgo galaxy-cluster and was dicovered by B.Oriani in 1779. It has an active nucleus with a central black hole of about 5 million sun-masses. M61 has massive star forming regions ,perhaps due to interactions with its satellite galaxies NGC 4292 (down left) and NGC 4303b (down right). Since 1926 there have 7 supernoveas been observed
RA: 12h 21m 54.9s
Decl.: +04° 28′ 25"
L(Ha)RGB L=20x1200s RGB=10x1200s each, H=5x2400s total 20.0 h, north is up, seeing 0.8-1.4 arc-sec
80cm f/7 Astrooptik Keller cassegrain, FLI PL 16803, Baader Filters, Prompt 7 CTIO/UNC Chile, remote controlled
Image processing: Bernd Flach-Wilken
here is a 85% CCD-field-picture of it;click on it for a larger view.The galaxy down left is NGC4292,the one down right NGC 4303b
this a more detailed look to the galaxy
a close look to the centre can be seen in this HST-mosaic.