BBC Sky at Night Magazine



M49 or NGC 4472 (RA 12h 29.8m, dec. +8° 00’) is a bright (+8.4 magnitude) galaxy in Virgo, appearing similar to the better-known M87 (located 4.5° due north, at the centre of the Coma-Virgo Galaxy Cluster). Being an elliptical, M49 visually fits the stereotype comparison to an unresolved globular cluster, having an obvious round (3’) halo, quickly brightenin­g as you approach its intense core.

Move 1° to the east of M49 and discover a pair of 10th magnitude spirals, NGC 4526 and 4535. The southern galaxy, 4526, is easily recognised being flanked by two bright (7th magnitude) stars both 0.1° away. It has an elongated (3’ long) diffuse halo with a bright core and faint stellar nucleus. Its companion, 4535 (0.5° north) is quite different having a fainter and more circular, mottled halo (4’ across) with only a slight central brightenin­g.

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