sponsored by psychohistorian.org


Deep Sky Observer's Companion – the online database


Welcome, guest!

If you've already registered, please log in,

or register an observer profile for added functionality.


log in to manage your observing lists























Full database:

Entire DOCdb database of 18,816 objects.



NGC 4579 (9,938 of 18,816)


oc gc pln bn dn gx gxcl ast aka lost




finder chart

altitude today

altitude (year)


½°, , in DOCdb

Warning: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone. in /home/yivumoo/public_html/show_object.php on line 167

show browsing

Messier 58

NGC 4579, LEDA 42168, MCG+02-32-160, UGC 7796, Messier 58, h 1368, GC 3121

RA: 12h 37m 43.48s
Dec: +11° 49′ 4.4″

Con: Virgo
Ch: MSA:725, U2:194, SA:14


(reference key)

Type: galaxy (AGN LINER-type), Sab

Mag: B=11.5, V=?

Size: 5.623′ x 4.466′
PA: 95°


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.

Historical observations

William Herschel (c.1784)

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."

Published comments

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a 11.0 mag galaxy. Their coded description reads SB,DKLNS,BM,DIFPERIP.

Sandage, A. et al. (1975) Galaxies and the Universe

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.

Sandage, A. (1961) The Hubble Atlas of Galaxies

This galaxy appears on page 13 of "The Hubble Atlas of Galaxies" by Allan Sandage (1961, Washington, DC).

Modern observations

Tom Lorenzin

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

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."

Contemporary observations

Richard Ford

2011 April, 30th, Saturday


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.

Limiting Magnitude:4.9.



Object Type:Galaxy.

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'.

5.7'+ 5.5'=11.2'.


Size in Arc Minutes:5.6'.


Major Axis:5.6'.


Minor Axis:!.1'.

Galaxy is 5.6'* 1.1'.

Brightness:Magnitude 9.8.

Brightness Profile:The central nucleus of this galaxy grows brighter in the middle compared to the central outskirts of this galaxy.

Challenge Rating::Difficult.



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.

Tom Bryant

2008-05-04 22:30:00

Observing site: Pinnacles overlook

Telescope: C-8

[12h 37m 42s, 11 49m 0s] AKA M 58. A bright, face on Sb/Sa/E0/? Burnham lists it as an Sb.

Favourite lists

Lacaille's catalogue

The Messier objects

Dunlop's catalogue

The Bennett objects

The Caldwell list

Named DSOs

Object search

First search phrase


Second search phrase

Type of object to include:

open cluster
globular cluster
planetary nebula
bright nebula
dark nebula
galaxy cluster
asterism & stars

The Bug Report

DOCdb is still in beta-release.

Known issues, feature requests, and updates on bug fixes, are here:

> Bug Report


Found a bug? Have a comment or suggestion to improve DOCdb? Please let us know!

> Contact us


DOCdb is a free online resource that exists to promote deep sky observing.

You could help by sharing your observations, writing an article, digitizing and proof-reading historical material, and more.

> Find out more

Everything on DOCdb.net is © 2004-2010 by Auke Slotegraaf, unless stated otherwise or if you can prove you have divine permission to use it. Before using material published here, please consult the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.5 License. Some material on DOCdb is copyright the individual authors. If in doubt, don't reproduce. And that goes for having children, too. Please note that the recommended browser for DOCdb is Firefox 3.x. You may also get good results with K-Meleon. Good luck if you're using IE. A successful experience with other browsers, including Opera and Safari, may vary.