NGC 4321- M 100
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NGC 4321- M 100


NGC 4321- M 100
Description: NGC 4321- M 100
Date Taken: April 2004

Right Ascension 12 : 22.9 (h:m)
Declination +15 : 49 (deg:m)
Distance 60000 (kly)
Visual Brightness 9.3 (mag)
Apparent Dimension 7x6 (arc min)
Discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1781.

On March 15, 1781, Pierre Méchain discovered this object, M100, together with its apparent neighbors, M98 and M99. His friend, Charles Messier, obtained its position on April 13, 1781, and included it in his catalog, immediately before finishing the third, final published edition.

M100 is one of the brightest member galaxies of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies.

M100 is a spiral galaxy, like our Milky Way, and tilted nearly face-on as seen from earth. It is among the first spirals that have been discovered, and listed by Lord Rosse as one of 14 "spiral nebulae" discovered to 1850. The galaxy has two prominent arms of bright blue stars and several fainter arms. The blue stars in the arms are young hot and massive stars which formed recently from density perturbations caused by interactions with neighboring galaxies which are lying just outside our image. Despite its nearly perfect symmetric outline, this galaxy appears slightly asymmetric, as on the southern (lower) side of the nucleus more (or brighter) young stars have formed.

Deep photographs of M100 have revealed that this galaxy is actually much larger than shown in conventional photographs. Therefore, a significant part of the galaxy's mass may lie in the faint outer regions and escape its discovery in conventional images.

M100 has been imaged extensively by the Hubble Space Telescope, which finally led to the discovery of over 20 Cepheids as well as one nova, and a distance determination of 56+/-6 million light years for M100, the first considerably reliable distance determination of a Virgo cluster galaxy (see H0 Key Project, paper IV, 1996). The high improvement of photographic resolution by the HST may be noticed in this comparison of HST to average quality KPNO 2.1m-photos.

M100 is located in the spring constellation Coma Berenices and can be seen through a moderate-sized amateur telescope. Amateurs can see the central regions of this galaxy as faint elliptical patch of uneven texture in small telescopes, or even in good binoculars. Under good observing conditions, suggestions of the inner spiral arms can be glimpsed in telescopes starting at 4 inch aperture (refractor or unobstructed reflector). Photos reveal the grand design spiral structure, as seen in every picture from our collection of amateur images of M100 (Source SEDS)
Date: 02.11.2006 12:38
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Added by: karcher

Caption: Processed with MaxIm DL

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