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.