Credits: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)
Messier 85 (M85) is a lenticular or elliptical galaxy located in the Virgo Cluster of galaxies, in the constellation Coma Berenices.
The galaxy lies at an approximate distance of 60 million light years from Earth and has an apparent magnitude of 10. It has the designation NGC 4382 in the New General Catalogue.
The galaxy is relatively faint and not easy to spot in 10×50 binoculars. Small telescopes will show only a fuzzy ball of light with a bright centre. 6-inch and 8-inch telescopes reveal a bright, round patch of light with a significantly brighter core. However, even larger instruments do not reveal much more detail.
Facts about M85 by Keith Turnecliff
The stars in the galaxy are mostly old. The central region is home to relatively young stars, under 3 billion years old, some of them arranged in a ring.
These stars are believed to have formed in a late burst of star forming activity.
The best time of year to observe M85 is during the spring.