Credits: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona
Messier 99 or M99, also known as NGC 4254, is a grand design spiral galaxy in the northern constellation Coma Berenices approximately 15 megaparsecs (49 megalight-years) in distance from the Milky Way. It was discovered by Pierre Méchain on March 17, 1781. The discovery was then reported to Charles Messier, who included the object in the Messier Catalogue of comet-like objects. Messier 99 was one of the first galaxies in which a spiral pattern was seen. This pattern was first identified by Lord Rosse in the spring of 1846.
Facts about M99 by Keith Turnecliff
M99 was discovered by the French astronomer Pierre Méchain in 1781.
The galaxy is located 55 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Coma Berenices and has an apparent magnitude of 10.4.
It can be seen using a moderately sized telescope most easily in May.