NGC 4394 and Messier 85 (RGB)


These two galaxies are in Coma Berenices but are part of the huge Virgo Cluster of galaxies. M85, the larger galaxy on the right is either a face-on lenticular galaxy or an elliptical galaxy. A lenticular galaxy is a disk shaped galaxy that doesn’t have spiral structure. An elliptical galaxy is essentially a huge ball of stars. The smaller galaxy, NGC 4394 is a barred spiral galaxy.

NGC 4394 is about 39 million light years away while M85 is 60 million light years away. M85 is a much, much bigger galaxy. It’s 1.5 times more distant and is still twice the apparent size of the closer galaxy!

For all the technical details see astrobin.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Carl Kotheimer says:

    I’m trying to figure out if M85 and NGC 4394 are interacting as some have suggested. That would seem highly unlikely if the two were 20LR apart. NASA says 4394 is about 54 LY away, not 39 which would make interaction more likely (the NASA number is from 2017). Could you please give me the reference for NGC 4394 being 39 LY away?


    1. Linda says:

      Wikipedia was the source of my data, I think.


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