M64, NGC 4826
The "Black Eye" or "Sleeping Beauty" galaxy, M64 is a spiral galaxy of type Sb in the constellation Coma Berenices. The peculiar dust lane to the north of the nucleus (top of image) may have been created from a small companion galaxy absorbed into the main spiral, but not yet relaxed into the mean orbital plane. This speculation is bolstered by the fact that M64 contains two counter-rotating streams of gas and stars, whereas in most galaxies the material all circulates the same way. Some 20 million light-years away, M64 is about 55000 light-years across (roughly half the size of M31/Andromeda or our Galaxy). M64 is considered by some (but not others) to be in a group including M94 and various fainter galaxies.
The present picture is a color composite of CCD images from the 0.9-meter telescope of the Kitt Peak National Observatory, near Tucson, Arizona, taken in January 1997 (and even when I was observing it I couldn't understand why it has the names it has: I must suffer from lack of imagination).
Image size 14.5 arc minutes.
About the Image
|Release date:||June 30, 2020, 9:33 p.m.|
|Size:||1280 x 1280 px|
About the Object
|Position (RA):||12 56 48.88|
|Position (Dec):||21° 40' 31.56"|
|Field of view:||14.52 x 14.52 arcminutes|
|Orientation:||North is 1.3° left of vertical|
View in WorldWide Telescope: