Alt. Designations: NGC 4406
Object Type: Lenticular Galaxy
Constellation: Virgo
Distance: 52 mly
Right Ascension: 12h 26m 11.5s
Declination: +12° 56´ 47"
Visual Magnitude: 9.2
Apparent Dimension: 8.9´ x 5.8´
Best Month To View: Apr

Yet another lenticular galaxy to be found in the Virgo cluster is M86. This is a large, bright object that some believe may actually be an elliptical galaxy. It is surrounded by an extremely faint system of globular clusters. M86 is located at the heart of the Virgo cluster and lies about 60 million light-years from Earth. It forms a close group with another large galaxy M84, known as Markarian's Chain. Unlike many of the other galaxies in this cluster, M86 is actually approaching us at the blinding speed of 1500 km/sec. It is believed that the high gravitational field of this massive cluster of galaxies is responsible for M86's unusually high velocity. At magnitude 8.9 this galaxy can be located with binoculars on a good night, but the best observing will be done with a telescope.