“We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.” -Carl Sagan

A galaxy very different from our own may hold the key to seeing what our far future looks like.

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to see the Virgo cluster of galaxies, you probably think of a wonderland of galaxies littering the sky. Something like this, perhaps.

Image credit: © 2014 Scott Rosen’s Astrophotography, via http://www.astronomersdoitinthedark.com/index.php?c=113&p=512.

Image credit: © 2014 Scott Rosen’s Astrophotography, via http://www.astronomersdoitinthedark.com/index.php?c=113&p=512.

But did you know that the brightest galaxy in the Virgo Cluster is nowhere to be found in this image? Quite surprisingly, it’s a (very large) 5 degrees away!

Image credit: Nicole Peterson, via http://www.calvin.edu/academic/phys/observatory/images/Astr110.Spring2005/Peterson.html.

Image credit: Nicole Peterson, via http://www.calvin.edu/academic/phys/observatory/images/Astr110.Spring2005/Peterson.html.

Say hello to Messier 49 this Messier Monday; go and check out the whole thing!

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