Credits: NASA, ESA (Hubble Space Telescope)
Messier 60 (M60) is a giant elliptical galaxy located in the constellation Virgo.
The galaxy has an apparent magnitude of 9.8 and lies at an approximate distance of 55 million light years from Earth. It has the designation NGC 4649 in the New General Catalogue.
Messier 60 contains a black hole with an estimated mass of about 4.5 billion times that of the Sun. It is one of the largest black holes ever discovered. The galaxy’s halo is home to an estimated 5,100 globular clusters.
Facts about M60 by Keith Turnecliff
In amateur telescopes, observers can only see the galaxy’s bright central region, which is about 4 by 3 arc minutes in diameter. 4-inch telescopes reveal the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 4647, while significantly larger instruments show many faint globular clusters in M60. The best time of year to observe the galaxy is during the months of March, April and May.