The Virgo Cluster

The Virgo cluster is a massive cluster of galaxies which dominates the Virgo supercluster. There are roughly 2000 galaxies in this cluster (although ninety percent of them are dwarf galaxies). This cluster has a diameter of approximately 15 million light years which is not much larger than our Local Group but it contains fifty times the number of galaxies. This map shows 600 of the brightest galaxies within 7.5 degrees of the centre of the cluster - this is an arbitary border, there are many other galaxies beyond this limit especially to the south of the cluster where there are several additional galaxy groups. The 160 largest galaxies are labelled on this map. There is also a negative version of this map which may be easier to print.

The Virgo Cluster

Below - nine galaxies on the right side of the Virgo cluster. M98 (top-left) and NGC 4216 (top-centre) are two similar spiral galaxies seen from the same angle. M99 (top-right) is a very lop-sided spiral galaxy. NGC 4293 (middle-left) is a spiral galaxy near the top of the Virgo cluster. M100 (middle-centre) is one of the most famous spiral galaxies in the sky. NGC 4365 (middle-right) is a large elliptical galaxy near the bottom of the Virgo cluster. M84 (bottom-left) is a large elliptical galaxy near the centre of the Virgo cluster. M85 (bottom-centre) is a large lenticular galaxy further north. This galaxy shows some shell-like structure probably because it has swallowed a spiral galaxy in the past few hundred million years. M86 (bottom-right) is one of the largest elliptical galaxies in the Virgo cluster. It has a bright core surrounded by a faint but extensive halo of stars.

M98 NGC 4216 M99
M98 NGC 4216 M99
NGC 4293 M100 NGC 4365
NGC 4293 M100 NGC 4365
M84 M85 M86
M84 M85 M86

The Galaxies of the Virgo Cluster

This is a list of the 160 largest galaxies in the Virgo cluster - this is every galaxy labelled on the above map. This list is every galaxy with an angular size greater than 1.8 arcminutes within 7.5 degrees of the centre of the cluster which at a distance of 52 million light years corresponds to every galaxy with a diameter greater than 30 thousand light years within 7 million light years from the centre. Some of these galaxies may be foreground or background galaxies in the vicinity of the cluster.

  1             2        3      4     5      6    7     8     9
Name           Equatorial      Blue  Type  Size Size   RV   Other
               Coordinates     Mag          (')  kly  km/s  Names
               RA       Dec
IC 755       12 01.2  +14 06   14.8  SBb    2.1   30  1839 
NGC 4037     12 01.4  +13 24   13.1  SBb    2.3   35  1265 
NGC 4064     12 04.2  +18 27   12.3  SBa    4.0   60  1252 
NGC 4124     12 08.2  +10 23   12.5  S0     3.2   50  1993 
UGC 7170     12 10.6  +18 50   14.9  Sc     3.0   45  2771 
NGC 4152     12 10.6  +16 02   13.0  SBc    1.8   30  2490 
NGC 4168     12 12.3  +13 12   12.2  E      2.7   40  2639 
IC 769       12 12.5  +12 07   13.4  SBbc   2.6   40  2545 
NGC 4178     12 12.8  +10 52   12.1  SBcd   4.9   75   712 
NGC 4189     12 13.8  +13 25   12.5  SBc    2.5   35  2442 
M98          12 13.8  +14 54   10.9  SBb    9.8  150   184  NGC 4192
NGC 4193     12 13.9  +13 10   13.3  SBbc   2.2   35  2804
UGC 7239     12 14.2  +07 47   13.9  Irr    2.1   30  1563
NGC 4197     12 14.6  +05 48   13.6  Sc     3.2   50  2406
IC 3061      12 15.1  +14 02   14.4  SBc    2.2   35  2644
NGC 4206     12 15.3  +13 01   12.8  Sbc    5.2   80  1031
NGC 4212     12 15.7  +13 54   11.9  Sc     3.1   45   245
NGC 4216     12 15.9  +13 09   10.9  SBb    7.9  120   459
NGC 4215     12 15.9  +06 24   13.0  S0     1.9   30  2412
NGC 4222     12 16.4  +13 18   13.9  Sc     3.2   50   557
NGC 4224     12 16.6  +07 28   13.0  Sa     2.5   40  2937
NGC 4233     12 17.1  +07 37   12.9  S0     2.3   35  2699
IC 3099      12 17.2  +12 27   15.1  Sc     1.9   30  2462
NGC 4235     12 17.2  +07 11   12.6  Sa     3.8   60  2748
NGC 4237     12 17.2  +15 19   12.5  SBbc   2.1   30  1188
IC 3102      12 17.4  +06 41   13.1  S0     2.4   35  2577
M99          12 18.8  +14 25   10.4  Sc     5.4   80  2735  NGC 4254
NGC 4260     12 19.4  +06 06   12.7  SBa    2.5   35  2184
NGC 4261     12 19.4  +05 50   11.3  E      4.0   60  2527
NGC 4262     12 19.5  +14 53   12.4  E      1.9   30  1683
NGC 4266     12 19.7  +05 32   14.3  SBa    1.9   30   340
NGC 4267     12 19.8  +12 48   12.0  E      3.0   45  1359
NGC 4270     12 19.8  +05 28   13.1  S0     2.0   30  2697
NGC 4273     12 19.9  +05 21   12.7  SBc    2.1   30  2723
NGC 4293     12 21.2  +18 23   11.2  Sa     5.5   85  1247
NGC 4294     12 21.3  +11 31   12.7  SBc    3.0   45   688
NGC 4298     12 21.5  +14 36   12.1  Sc     3.0   45  1464
NGC 4302     12 21.7  +14 36   12.5  Sc     4.9   75  1442
NGC 4305     12 22.1  +12 44   13.4  Sa     2.0   30  2221
NGC 4307     12 22.1  +09 03   12.8  Sb     3.5   50  1405
NGC 4309     12 22.2  +07 09   14.4  S0     1.9   30  1208
NGC 4312     12 22.5  +15 32   12.5  Sab    4.7   70   474
NGC 4313     12 22.6  +11 48   12.6  Sab    3.8   60  1773
NGC 4316     12 22.7  +09 20   13.7  Sc     2.5   40  1587
M100         12 22.9  +15 49   10.1  SBbc   7.6  115  1899  NGC 4321
NGC 4324     12 23.1  +05 15   12.5  S0     2.8   45  2007
NGC 4330     12 23.3  +11 22   13.3  Sc     4.0   60  1899
NGC 4336     12 23.5  +19 26   13.2  Sa     1.9   30  1315
NGC 4339     12 23.6  +06 05   12.3  E      2.2   35  1625
NGC 4340     12 23.6  +16 43   12.1  S0     3.2   50  1236
NGC 4343     12 23.6  +06 57   13.2  Sb     2.3   35  1349
NGC 4350     12 24.0  +16 42   11.9  S0     2.9   45  1544
NGC 4351     12 24.0  +12 12   13.1  SBab   1.9   30  2644  NGC 4354
NGC 4352     12 24.1  +11 13   13.5  S0     1.9   30  2407
NGC 4356     12 24.2  +08 32   14.0  Sc     2.6   40  1468
NGC 4365     12 24.5  +07 19   10.6  E      5.8   85  1573
NGC 4371     12 24.9  +11 42   11.8  S0     4.0   60  1273
M84          12 25.1  +12 53   10.1  E      6.0   90  1239  NGC 4374
NGC 4379     12 25.2  +15 36   12.6  E      1.9   30  1372
NGC 4378     12 25.3  +04 56   12.5  Sa     2.5   40  2889
NGC 4380     12 25.4  +10 01   12.6  Sab    3.2   50  1301
M85          12 25.4  +18 11   10.0  S0     7.1  105  1056  NGC 4382
NGC 4383     12 25.4  +16 28   12.6  Sa     2.0   30  2028
IC 3322A     12 25.7  +07 13   14.0  SBc    2.8   45  1331
NGC 4388     12 25.8  +12 40   11.9  Sb     5.5   85  2845
IC 3322      12 25.9  +07 33   14.2  SBc    2.3   35  1534
NGC 4394     12 25.9  +18 13   11.7  SBb    3.5   50  1234
NGC 4396     12 26.0  +15 40   13.1  Scd    3.2   50   195
NGC 4402     12 26.1  +13 07   12.6  Sb     3.5   55   562
M86          12 26.2  +12 57    9.9  E     10.2  155    37  NGC 4406
NGC 4411A    12 26.5  +08 52   13.7  SBc    1.9   30  1613
NGC 4413     12 26.5  +12 37   13.1  SBab   2.2   35   427
NGC 4411B    12 26.8  +08 53   13.2  SBc    2.5   35  1602
NGC 4417     12 26.8  +09 35   12.0  S0     3.3   50  1171
NGC 4419     12 26.9  +15 03   12.0  SBa    3.3   50    67
NGC 4421     12 27.0  +15 28   12.5  S0     2.8   45  1920
NGC 4423     12 27.1  +05 53   14.2  Sd     2.2   35  1443
UGC 7557     12 27.2  +07 16   13.5  SBm    3.0   45  1267
NGC 4424     12 27.2  +09 25   12.5  SBa    3.4   50   771
NGC 4425     12 27.2  +12 44   12.8  S0     3.0   45  2187
NGC 4430     12 27.4  +06 16   12.9  SBb    2.3   35  1782
NGC 4429     12 27.4  +11 06   11.0  S0     5.9   90  1449
PGC 40821    12 27.5  +09 36   16.4  S?     1.9   30   363  PGC 40869
NGC 4435     12 27.7  +13 05   11.7  S0     3.0   45  1111
NGC 4438     12 27.8  +13 01   11.0  Sa     8.7  130   404
NGC 4442     12 28.1  +09 48   11.3  S0     4.5   70   862
NGC 4445     12 28.3  +09 26   13.7  Sab    2.6   40   689
NGC 4450     12 28.5  +17 05   10.9  Sab    5.1   80  2273
IC 3392      12 28.7  +15 00   13.1  Sab    2.3   35  2001
NGC 4452     12 28.7  +11 45   13.0  S0     3.0   45   504
NGC 4459     12 29.0  +13 59   11.3  S0     3.8   60  1513
NGC 4461     12 29.1  +13 11   12.1  S0     3.4   50  2248
NGC 4469     12 29.5  +08 45   12.4  Sa     3.5   50   908
M49          12 29.8  +08 00    9.3  E      9.8  150  1204  NGC 4472
NGC 4473     12 29.8  +13 26   11.1  E      4.1   60  2553
NGC 4474     12 29.9  +14 04   12.5  S0     2.4   35  1915
NGC 4477     12 30.0  +13 38   11.4  S0     3.6   55  1661
M87          12 30.8  +12 23    9.6  E      8.3  125  1601  NGC 4486
NGC 4488     12 30.9  +08 22   13.2  Sa     3.6   55  1325
NGC 4492     12 31.0  +08 05   13.2  Sa     1.9   30  2099
NGC 4497     12 31.5  +11 37   13.3  S0     1.9   30  1576
NGC 4498     12 31.7  +16 51   12.8  SBc    3.0   45  1818
M88          12 32.0  +14 25   10.3  Sb     6.8  100  2599  NGC 4501
NGC 4503     12 32.1  +11 11   12.1  S0     3.5   55  1685
IC 3476      12 32.7  +14 03   13.4  Irr    2.0   30   149
NGC 4519     12 33.5  +08 39   12.5  SBcd   2.9   45  1550
NGC 4522     12 33.7  +09 10   13.1  SBc    3.5   55  2653
NGC 4523     12 33.8  +15 10   14.0  SBm    1.9   30   576
NGC 4526     12 34.1  +07 42   10.6  S0     7.1  105   931
NGC 4531     12 34.3  +13 05   12.5  S0     3.2   50   330
NGC 4532     12 34.3  +06 28   12.6  Irr    2.8   45  2344
NGC 4535     12 34.3  +08 12   10.6  SBc    6.9  105  2287
NGC 4539     12 34.6  +18 12   12.9  SBa    3.4   50  1702
NGC 4540     12 34.8  +15 33   12.5  SBc    2.1   30  1601
M91          12 35.4  +14 30   11.0  SBb    5.2   80   803  NGC 4548
NGC 4550     12 35.5  +12 13   12.5  S0     3.2   50   704
M89          12 35.7  +12 33   10.7  E      5.0   75   628  NGC 4552
NGC 4564     12 36.4  +11 26   11.9  E      3.2   50  1452
NGC 4567     12 36.5  +11 15   12.1  Sbc    2.8   40  2588
NGC 4568     12 36.6  +11 14   11.7  Sbc    4.4   65  2578
IC 3576      12 36.6  +06 37   14.0  SBm    2.3   35  1406
M90          12 36.8  +13 10   10.2  SBab  10.5  160    87  NGC 4569
NGC 4570     12 36.9  +07 15   11.8  S0     3.8   60  2061
NGC 4571     12 36.9  +14 13   11.9  Sc     3.7   55   659
NGC 4578     12 37.5  +09 33   12.4  S0     3.0   45  2600
M58          12 37.7  +11 49   10.6  SBb    5.6   85  1839  NGC 4579
NGC 4580     12 37.8  +05 22   12.9  SBab   2.0   30  1368
NGC 4596     12 39.9  +10 11   11.4  S0     4.1   60  2194
NGC 4606     12 41.0  +11 55   12.6  SBa    2.9   45  1975
NGC 4607     12 41.2  +11 53   13.8  SBb    3.0   45  2577
NGC 4608     12 41.2  +10 09   12.2  S0     3.2   50  2127
NGC 4612     12 41.5  +07 19   12.2  S0     2.4   35  2195
M59          12 42.0  +11 39   10.8  E      5.0   75   751  NGC 4621
NGC 4623     12 42.2  +07 41   13.3  S0     2.2   35  2146
NGC 4633     12 42.6  +14 21   13.8  SBd    1.8   30   604
NGC 4634     12 42.7  +14 18   13.2  SBc    2.2   35   432
NGC 4638     12 42.8  +11 27   12.1  E      2.5   35  1447
NGC 4639     12 42.9  +13 15   12.2  SBbc   3.0   45  1308
NGC 4647     12 43.5  +11 35   11.9  SBc    2.8   45  1734
M60          12 43.7  +11 33    9.8  E      7.2  110  1452  NGC 4649
NGC 4651     12 43.7  +16 24   11.4  Sc     4.0   60  1113
NGC 4654     12 43.9  +13 08   11.1  SBc    5.0   75  1349
NGC 4660     12 44.5  +11 11   12.1  E      2.1   30  1403
IC 3718      12 44.8  +12 21   14.0  Sbc    2.6   40  1167
UGC 7943     12 46.8  +05 57   13.9  SBc    2.0   30  1162
NGC 4689     12 47.8  +13 46   11.6  Sc     4.6   70  1925
NGC 4694     12 48.3  +10 59   12.3  S0     3.0   45  1495
NGC 4698     12 48.4  +08 29   11.7  Sa     3.7   55  1324
NGC 4710     12 49.6  +15 10   11.9  S0     4.9   75  1633
NGC 4713     12 50.0  +05 19   12.3  SBcd   2.4   35   977
NGC 4733     12 51.1  +10 55   12.7  E      1.9   30  1252
NGC 4746     12 51.9  +12 05   13.4  Sb     3.9   60  2094
NGC 4754     12 52.3  +11 19   11.6  S0     4.4   65  1687
NGC 4758     12 52.7  +15 51   13.6  SBm    3.0   45  1548
NGC 4762     12 52.9  +11 14   11.3  S0     7.6  115  1298
UGC 8032     12 54.7  +13 14   13.9  Sb     2.8   40  1424
IC 3881      12 54.8  +19 11   13.8  SBc    3.6   55  1217
UGC 8085     12 58.3  +14 33   14.6  SBc    2.5   40  2350
NGC 4866     12 59.4  +14 10   12.1  S0     6.3   95  2292
NGC 4880     13 00.2  +12 29   12.9  S0     3.0   45  1781
Column 1: The usual name of the galaxy.
Column 2: The Right Ascension for epoch 2000.
Column 3: The Declination for epoch 2000.
Column 4: The blue apparent magnitude of the galaxy.
Column 5: The galaxy type: E=Elliptical, S0=Lenticular, Sa,Sb,Sc,Sd=Spiral,
          SBa,SBb,SBc,SBd=Barred Spiral, Sm,SBm,Irr=Irregular.
Column 6: The angular diameter of the galaxy (arcminutes).
Column 7: The diameter of the galaxy (thousands of light years).
Column 8: The recessional velocity (km/s) of the galaxy relative to
          the cosmic microwave background.
Column 9: Other names of the galaxy.

References:
The HyperLeda Database, (2003).

Below - another nine galaxies in the Virgo cluster. NGC 4429 (top-left) is a fine example of a lenticular galaxy showing a central bulge surrounded by a disk of stars. NGC 4438 (top-centre) is a spiral galaxy near the centre of the Virgo cluster which has become disrupted by a close encounter with the lenticular galaxy NGC 4435 above it. NGC 4450 (top-right) is a spiral galaxy with smooth spiral arms. NGC 4459 (middle-left) is a lenticular galaxy seen almost face-on. M49 (middle-centre) is an elliptical galaxy and it is the largest galaxy in the southern half of the cluster. NGC 4473 (middle-right) is an elliptical galaxy with a very oval shape. M87 (bottom-left) is the very large and active galaxy at the centre of the Virgo cluster. M88 (bottom-centre) is another nice spiral galaxy. NGC 4526 (bottom-right) is a superb example of a lenticular galaxy.

NGC 4429 NGC 4438 NGC 4450
NGC 4429 NGC 4438 NGC 4450
NGC 4459 M49 NGC 4473
NGC 4459 M49 NGC 4473
M87 M88 NGC 4526
M87 M88 NGC 4526

It is not possible to get a good photograph of the entire Virgo cluster because the galaxies are rather faint and small objects scattered across 15 degrees of the sky. Below is photograph of the centre of the cluster showing the inner 4x4 region. Most of the brightest objects in this picture are galaxies. The elliptical galaxy in the centre is M87. The two largest galaxies on the right are the large elliptical galaxies - M84 and M86. The three largest galaxies on the left are M89, M90 and M58. At the top edge of the picture are the two large spiral galaxies M88 and M91.

The Virgo cluster
The middle of the Virgo cluster. Image size 4x4. DSS image.

Below - nine galaxies on the left side of the Virgo cluster. NGC 4535 (top-left) and M91 (top-centre) are two fine examples of barred spiral galaxies. M89 (top-right) is another of the large elliptical galaxies near the centre of the Virgo cluster. M90 (middle-left) and M58 (middle-centre) are two similar spiral galaxies. M59 (middle-right) is a large elliptical galaxy on the left side of the Virgo cluster. M60 (bottom-left) is another elliptical galaxy on the left side of the cluster. In the same field of view is NGC 4647 - a spiral galaxy at a different distance. NGC 4654 (bottom-centre) is another spiral galaxy. NGC 4762 (bottom-right) is a bright lenticular galaxy viewed edge-on.

NGC 4535 M91 M89
NGC 4535 M91 M89
M90 M58 M59
M90 M58 M59
M60 NGC 4654 NGC 4762
M60 NGC 4654 NGC 4762

The Hubble Space Telescope view of M87

In the middle of the Virgo cluster is the large elliptical galaxy M87. This picture is the view of the galaxy from the Hubble Space Telescope. It shows an extraordinary jet streaming from the centre of the galaxy. This jet is more than 5000 light years long (or approximately 4 million times the diameter of our solar system). The jet consists of electrons and other sub-atomic particles which are being propelled outwards by a supermassive black hole at the centre of the galaxy. The black hole has a mass of about 2 billion solar masses, and as matter falls into the black hole it is concentrated by the intense magnetic fields around the black hole and some of it is propelled outwards to form the jet. The bright yellow glow of this galaxy is the combined light from the trillion or more stars in this galaxy. The points of light which can be seen in this image are a few of the fifteen thousand globular star clusters which belong to the galaxy.

M87 - HST image
M87 from the Hubble Space Telescope

Properties of the Virgo Cluster
Equatorial Coordinates RA=12h30m Dec=+12
Galactic Coordinates l=284 b=+74
Supergalactic Coordinates L=103 B=-2
Distance to the centre of the cluster 52 million light years
Number of large galaxies in the cluster 160
Alternative names for the cluster Virgo I cluster
The Virgo Supercluster Back to the Virgo Supercluster page