Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
March 16, 1996
Spiral Galaxy M90
Credit and Copyright: Bill Keel (University of Alabama)
1.1-meter Hall Telescope, Lowell Observatory
Explanation: Spiral galaxy M90 is near the center of the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies - the closest cluster of galaxies to the our own Milky Way Galaxy. Also dubbed NGC 4569, this galaxy has a very compact and bright nucleus. Because of M90's proximity and motion inside the Virgo Cluster, M90 actually shows a blueshift - indicating that it is moving toward us rather than away. Most galaxies show a redshift which indicates that they move away from us. Calibrating exactly how redshift relates to distance would indicate a scale for our universe - a topic of much debate recently.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Sherri Calvo. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC