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Type: galaxy (AGN LINER-type), Sab
Mag: B=11.5, V=?
Size: 5.623′ x 4.466′
Since the publication of the third and final part of Messier's catalgue in 1784, the identity of Messier 91 has been a mystery. The astronomical historian Owen Gingerich concluded that M91 is a reobservation of NGC 4579, Messier 58. Other possibile candidates include NGC 4548, NGC 4571 & NGC 4689.
In the Appendix to the 1912 'Scientific Papers of Sir William Herschel' NGC 4579 is listed as M58. It is described as "pB, pL." and on a second occassion as "large, faint."
The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 11.0 mag galaxy. Their coded description reads SB,DKLNS,BM,DIFPERIP.
G. de Vaucouleurs ("Galaxies and the Universe", Chapter 14 - Nearby Groups of Galaxies) notes that the five brightest members of the Virgo I (S) group are NGC 4321, NGC 4501, NGC 4254, NGC 4569 & NGC 4579.
This galaxy appears on page 13 of "The Hubble Atlas of Galaxies" by Allan Sandage (1961, Washington, DC).
Tom Lorenzin, in the e-version of "1000+ The Amateur Astronomers' Field Guide to Deep Sky Observing", notes: "11M; 5' x 4' extent; 7' E of 9M star; soft with bright center; 13M stellar nucleus; see photo at HAG-13."
Steve Coe, observing with a 13" f/5.6, notes: "(M 58) bright, large, somewhat elongated 1.5X1, much brighter in the middle at 135X. There is some faint spiral structure at the limit of the 13". Averted vision makes the size of this object grow."
Instrument:12-inch Dobsonian Reflector Telescope.
Sky Conditions:The fainter parts of the Milky Way are barely visible.
Transparency of the Sky:Haziness only visible on the horizon.
Seeing:Atmosphere stable with little interference.
First Impression:This object looks like a barred spiral galaxy.
Chart Number:No.173(Extract taken out of "Star Gazer's Deep Space Atlas").
Size:26mm Super Wide Field Eyepiece:Field Of View:57'/10=5.7'.
20mm Ultra Wide Angle Eyepiece:Field Of View:50'/9=5.5'.
Size in Arc Minutes:5.6'.
Galaxy is 5.6'* 1.1'.
Brightness Profile:The central nucleus of this galaxy grows brighter in the middle compared to the central outskirts of this galaxy.
The galactic nucleus of this galaxy is slightly oval and well defined.It has a roundish shape.Some spiral arms are seen and it looks like a barred spiral galaxy.This galaxy has a fairly bright nucleus.
Observing site: Pinnacles overlook
[12h 37m 42s, 11° 49m 0s] AKA M 58. A bright, face on Sb/Sa/E0/? Burnham lists it as an Sb.
The Messier objects
The Bennett objects
The Caldwell list
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