|NGC 4660: Elliptical Galaxy (Virgo) RA: 12h 44.5m / DEC: +11° 11'.5|
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder
If you begin an exploration of the Virgo cluster at Vindamiatrix, 4.6 degrees to the east-southeast, the bright Messier galaxy, M60, is likely to be your first stop. As shown in the sketch at left, M60 appears as a 5' oval with a bright core at 82X in my 10-inch Newtonian. But Messier objects does not bring us to this neck of the woods, tonight. We're after more challenging game, Herschel 400 objects. M60 shares the same field with one, NGC 4660. This elliptical galaxy is seen 25' south-southeast of M60 near the field boundary of my drawing. Its 11.1 magnitude glow is spread across a smallish 120"x90" frame. Another 11th magnitude galaxy, NGC 4638, is visible about 15' south-southwest of M60. Twelve field stars provide context for this view.