About this image
M86 is a lenticular galaxy of type S0 in the constellation Virgo (although there are those who classify it as an elliptical: a similar debate occurs over M84). Lenticulars are mostly smooth and featureless, like elliptical galaxies, but have a significant amount of dust and often some disk-like component, similar to the disk of a spiral galaxy without the arms. This image was taken at the KPNO 0.9-meter telescope in December 1996, and shows the inner regions of the galaxy. The full extent of the galaxy can be better appreciated in this composite mosaiced image of part of the Virgo cluster, or in this deep black and white image from the KPNO Mayall 4-m telescope.
Minimum credit line: NOAO/AURA/NSF
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