Image of the Month - March 2016

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Collingwood College and Ravensbourne School

Much of March and April so far have been taken trying to catch up on observations lost during the bad weather earlier in the year, with some pretty impressive results. There have been spells of very good seeing which has led to some sharp images of wonderful objects. We have chosen to combine some images from 2 different schools for this month's image, which is of the spiral galaxy known as NGC4501, or Messier 88. This is a great example of a 'young' spiral galaxy with tightly wound arms, and it sits at a distance of around 50 million light years from the Earth, which means it has taken the light 50 million years to reach us! In the centre of this galaxy sits a supermassive blackhole which has a mass about 80 million times the mass of our Sun, that's about twice as massive as the one in our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

10677G000.hfit, 10677G001.hfit, and - 10677G002.hfit
Messier 88