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 http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100130.html. Image credit: Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, U. Arizona, via http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100130.html.

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

More like this

“The Milky Way is nothing else but a mass of innumerable stars planted together in clusters.” -Galileo Galilei Welcome back to another Messier Monday here on Starts With a Bang! With 110 deep-sky objects making it up, the Messier Catalogue is the first comprehensive, accurate catalogue of faint (…
“Man alone is born crying, lives complaining, and dies disappointed.” -Samuel Johnson You might look up at our Sun in the sky, delighted at its brilliance and life-giving brightness, thankful for all it's brought to our world. But we're all just a little bit dismayed at the crushing realization…
“The most amazing lesson in aerodynamics I ever had was the day I climbed a thermal in a glider at the same time as an eagle. I witnessed, close up, effortlessness and lightness combined with strength, precision and determination.” -Norman Foster It's called the "Eagle Nebula" because the shape of…
"Why I came here, I know not; where I shall go it is useless to inquire - in the midst of myriads of the living and the dead worlds, stars, systems, infinity, why should I be anxious about an atom?" -Lord Byron Welcome back to another Messier Monday here on Starts With a Bang! Messier's 18th-…

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?