Messier Monday: A Perfectly Calm Spiral in a Gravitational Storm, M88

We’ll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one’s been.” -Tool

A beautifully undisturbed, large spiral can be found right at the heart of the Virgo Cluster. Sure, looking at the heart of the Virgo Cluster on its own, you might totally overlook today's Messier object.

Image credit: Rogelio Bernal Andreo of Deep Sky Colors. Image credit: Rogelio Bernal Andreo of Deep Sky Colors.

But you sure would be missing out if you did! Larger than the Milky Way, with a supermassive black hole more than 20 times the size of our own, a super hot, ionized central region, and speeding through the intergalactic medium at 1,000 km/s -- stripping its neutral hydrogen away -- this "quiet" galaxy has so much to reveal if we ask it the right questions!

Image credit: Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, U. Arizona, via Image credit: Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, U. Arizona, via

Go ahead and witness (and learn all about) this remarkable object, only at Messier Mondays!

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Just a note: on Medium it says 50-60,000 light years where it should be millions I believe.

Once again, another fascinating insight into a small part of our universe. Thankyou.
I am intrigued as to the way Steven Hawking has changed his view on black holes. How is this going to change the current view of 'firewalls' , event horizons and the like?