M64 - The Black Eye Galaxy

Credits: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)

Messier 64 (M64), also known as the Black Eye Galaxy, Evil Eye Galaxy, or Sleeping Beauty Galaxy, is a famous spiral galaxy located in the constellation Coma Berenices. Messier 64 has an apparent magnitude of 9.36 and lies at a distance of 24 million light years from Earth. The galaxy has the designation NGC 4826 in the New General Catalogue.

Facts about M64 by Keith Turnecliff

Binoculars reveal only a faint, irregular patch of light, but 4-inch telescopes easily show the galaxy’s large, bright nucleus and if observing conditions are particularly good, its large dark dust lane.
The dust lane is even easier to see in 6-inch telescopes, while 8-inch instruments also reveal the galaxy’s outer regions, which appear as a large halo of wispy nebulosity.
The best time to observe M64 is during the spring.

This star chart represents the view from Long Itchington for mid May at 10pm.
Credits: Image courtesy of Starry Night Pro Plus 8, researched and implemented by Keith Turnecliff.