Deep Sky
M85
NGC 4382

Lenticular or elliptical galaxy
Constellation:  Coma Berenices
Pierre Mechain, was a pretty busy astronomer as I am finding out as we go through the Messier Catalogue.  He discovered  this galaxy in 1781.  This galaxy was then added to Messier’s catalogue as a item not to worry about when comet hunting.    Approx 60 million light-years away, it is also approx 125,000 light-years across.
Astronomers think that approximately 4 to 7 billion years ago, this galaxy merged with another galaxy which is why its outer structure is pretty complex with ‘shells & ripples’.  (I’m not really sure what that means.)  M85, is also very poor in neural hydrogen and has a relatively young, if you can call 3 billion years young, stellar population near its centermost region.
This bad boy also has, like most galaxies, a central supermassive black hole, on the order 100 million, I say million, solar masses!  Pretty cool, huh?
15 images stacked
10 sec
03-16-13