One of the brighter members of the Virgo
cluster is the spiral galaxy, M88. Located about 60 million
light-years from Earth, this galaxy is inclined approximately 30
degrees to our line of sight. This gives it an elongated visual
appearance, which resembles that of the Andromeda Galaxy, M31.
M88 is believed to be nearly 130,000 light-years in diameter and
is receding away from us at about 2000 km/sec. This is one of
the more rewarding galaxies in the Virgo cluster for observers
using small instruments. A large telescope will bring out some
of the more subtle details.