Object name: IC3303

Designation(s): M084, M086, NGC4387, NGC4388, NGC4406B, IC3303,

M84 and M86 are two major elliptical galaxies near the core of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies. M84 is classed as an E1 galaxy and also as being a Low-Excitation Radio Galaxy (LERG), having a Low-Ionization Nuclear Emission-Line Region (LINER) and being a Seyfert 2 type galaxy. All this means it has a very actively feeding supermassive black hole at its core. A Seyfert galaxy shows this by having emission lines from the core region. A type 1 Seyfert has both narrow and broad emission lines while a type 2, like M84, has only narrow lines, an indication of less activity than a type 1. A galaxy that is only LINER is sometimes called Seyfert 3 adding to the confusion. Then there are type 1.5, 1.8 and 1.9 Seyfert\'s. You can read more about this at: http://spider.seds.org/spider/ScholarX/seyferts.html

Redshift puts it about 64 million light-years away while Tully Fisher measurements vary widely with a median value of about 56 million light-years. It is said to have several dust lanes but I didn\'t pick them up. Likely will need a lot more time to see these very low contrast features. My image shows lots of fuzzies to the southeast of the core but still in the fainter outer halo of the galaxy. I thought these might be globular clusters but most turned out to be distant galaxies without redshift data. I found no designated cluster that would cover them in NED, however. I did find a very few globular clusters, mostly to the northwest. They were so faint they are barely seen in the image so I didn\'t note them on the annotated image. NED also lists over 100 planetary nebulae, none of which were seen in my image that I looked for. With no magnitude listed in NED, I could only sample the listing. The Hubble image of the very core of M84 showing the dust lanes is at: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7a/Messier_84_nucleus_Hubble.jpg . NED lists its diameter as about 6 minutes while I measure about 10 on my image with some really deep images showing it even larger. Using 56 million light-years and my measurement of 10 minutes puts it at about 160,000 light-years in diameter.

M86 is a far larger galaxy. NED classifies it as SO(3)/E3 by NED and simply E3 by the NGC project. The galaxies in the Virgo cluster have a wide dispersion as to radial velocity indicating it is a very dynamic cluster. M86, in fact, is blue shifted indicating redshift is meaningless for it and likely other galaxies in the cluster. For this reason, I didn\'t label the cluster members with a redshift distance estimate as they appeared more like a random number list than a true distance measurement. Several different measurement methods have been used on the galaxy, some based on brightness variations, some on galaxy clusters some on planetary nebula and other methods. They give distances ranging from 40 to 60 million light-years. The median value is about 55 million light-years. With 35 listed in NED, you have plenty to choose from!

It has an X-ray plume which is thought due to the stripping of gas from it by ram pressure due to its high velocity through the cluster. It has surprisingly few globular clusters for such a large galaxy. Again most were far too faint for me to show on the annotated image. It does not seem to be close to M84 except by projection as seen from our spot in space so is not considered interacting with it. There are however hydrogen traces connecting it with one of \"The Eyes\" galaxies, NGC 4438, Arp 120. This galaxy also is moving through the Virgo cluster and experiencing ram pressure stripping though it has a very small redshift rather than being blue shifted like M86. It lies just outside the left edge of my image.

My measurement of its diameter is at least 15 minutes. Likely larger as the north end extends beyond my frame but NED says only 9 minutes. Again deep images show it larger than I do. Again going with my estimate and the distance of 55 million light-years gives a size of nearly 240,000 light-years. Now that\'s big!

M84 and M86 were discovered by Johann Koehler on May 5, 1779. Charles Messier found both on March 18, 1781. SEDS coverage: M84 http://messier.seds.org/m/m084.html
M86 http://messier.seds.org/m/m086.html

NGC 4387 near the center of my image is listed as E5 by NED and simply E by the NGC Project. It seems to show hints of structure in my image those papers I saw all say it lacks structure but for its boxy nature. Redshift puts it somewhat too close to be reliable. The median value of 12 measurements in NED put it about 57 million light-years away.

Below NGC 4387 is the faint fuzzy PGC 040577. Its listing in NED is very puzzling hence the question mark in the annotated image. NED shows it as a Group Member. This would indicate it is a member of the Virgo cluster or at least some cluster. The detail says they mean the Virgo Cluster. Its classification is dE2 meaning a dwarf E2 galaxy. Problem is the redshift is z=0.295417 which puts it some 3.38 billion light-years distant. While radial velocities in the Virgo cluster show a high variability this is far beyond that! NED lists its size at 16.2\" while I get a bit larger size. Going with NED\'s size and the 3.38 billion light-year distance it is over 260,000 light-years in diameter. That\'s some dwarf! For now, I\'m going to assume the classification is right and it is the redshift that is in error. Assuming a distance of 60 million light years gives a diameter of about 5,000 light-years which is reasonable for its classification. Certainly, other dwarf members of the cluster fit its angular size.

NGC 4388 lies at the bottom of the image. Both NED and the NGC project classify it as SA(s)b: and a Seyfert 2 galaxy though NED also lists it as a Seyfert 1.9 as well. It too has a high velocity through the cluster but in its case, the motion is highly redshifted showing a distance about twice actual rather than it having a blue shift as with NGC 4387. The median of 13 measurements other than redshift put it about 63 million light-years away compared to 131 million for its redshift measurement. Thus it too is experiencing ram stripping. Its size on my image indicates a diameter of over 125,000 light-years which makes it a large spiral similar to ours in size.

Another galaxy with a blueshift rather than redshift is IC 3303. NED classifies it as dS0,N which means it is a dwarf S0 galaxy that is non rotating. So far so good. Its size puts it at a diameter of about 20 million light-years assuming it is 60 million light-years distant. OK, a large dwarf. But then NED\'s morphology says it is a cD galaxy. These are defined by NED as: \"supergiant galaxy with an extensive envelope in a cluster\". Oops. It can\'t be both a dwarf and a supergiant. Another for the blooper reel it seems.

Two objects without distance data were labeled UvES which are often quasar candidates. One, down near NGC 4388 is very blue and certainly looks like it could be a quasar though it is listed simply as being a blue star. The other one isn\'t is on the east side of M86\'s halo. It is listed as a star. Both appear to have the same PSF as a star in my image though quasars often do. Without more, I\'ll assume they are just stars.

14\" LX200R @ f/10, L=6x10\' RGB 2x10\'x3, STL-11000XM, Paramount ME