Image of the Month - April 2017

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St. Richard's Catholic College

The Image of the Month for April 2017 is one of our favourite galaxies, Messier 88 (M88), or NGC4501. This is a spiral galaxy which lies over 50 million light years from Earth, sitting within a cluster of galaxies known as the Virgo Cluster. This cluster contains around 1,300 different galaxies, of all different shapes and sizes.

M88 is the 10th brightest galaxy in this cluster powered by the hundreds of thousands of stars within it! In the centre of all of those stars lies a supermassive black hole, an object so dense that not even light can escape it. The black hole in the centre of M88 has the same mass as around 80 million Sun's packed into a small area!