Black Eye Galaxy

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Messier 64[1]
The core of the Black Eye Galaxy (M64)
Observation data
Epoch J2000
Constellation Coma Berenices[2]
Right ascension 12h 56m 43.7s[3]
Declination +21° 40′ 58″[3]
Apparent dimension (V) 10.71 × 5.128 moa[4]
Apparent magnitude (V)9.36[3]
Type(R)SA(rs)ab, HIISy2
Heliocentric radial velocity 408 ± 4[3] km/s
Redshift 0.001361 ± 0.000013[3]
Galactocentric velocity 400 ± 4 km/s
Distance 17 ± 3.19[5] Mly (5.21 ± 0.98 Mpc)
Other designations
M64,[3] NGC 4826,[3] UGC 8062,[3] PGC 44182,[3] Evil Eye Galaxy[4]
Database references
SIMBAD Search M64 data
See also: Galaxy, List of galaxies

The Black Eye Galaxy (also called Evil Eye Galaxy; designated Messier 64, M64, or NGC 4826) is a galaxy which was discovered by Edward Pigott in March 1779, and independently by Johann Elert Bode in April of the same year, as well as by Charles Messier in 1780. It has a spectacular dark band of absorbing dust in front of the galaxy's bright nucleus, giving rise to its nicknames of the "Black Eye" or "Evil Eye" galaxy. M64 is well known among amateur astronomers because of its appearance in small telescopes. It is a spiral galaxy in the Coma Berenices constellation.


The interstellar medium of Messier 64 consists of two counter-rotating disks that are approximately equal in mass.[6] The inner disk contains the prominent dust lanes of the galaxy. The stellar population of the galaxy exhibits no measurable counter-rotation.[7] Possible formation scenarios include a merger with a gas-rich satellite galaxy in a retrograde orbit, or the continued accretion of gas clouds from the intergalactic medium.[6][7] It has a diameter of 52,962 light-years (16.238 kpc).[8]

Amateur image of Black Eye Galaxy (M64).


  1. ^ J. L. Tonry; A. Dressler; J. P. Blakeslee; E. A. Ajhar; A. B. Fletcher; G. A. Luppino; et al. (2001). "The SBF Survey of Galaxy Distances. IV. SBF Magnitudes, Colors, and Distances". Astrophysical Journal. 546 (2): 681–693. arXiv:astro-ph/0011223. Bibcode:2001ApJ...546..681T. doi:10.1086/318301.
  2. ^ R. W. Sinnott, ed. (1988). The Complete New General Catalogue and Index Catalogue of Nebulae and Star Clusters by J. L. E. Dreyer. Sky Publishing Corporation/Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-933346-51-4.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database". Results for NGC 4826. Retrieved 2006-11-06.
  4. ^ a b "Object query : M64". SIMBAD. Centre de Données astronomiques de Strasbourg. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b R. Brawn; R. A. M. Walterbos & Kennicutt R. C. (1992). "Counter-rotating gaseous disks in the "Evil Eye" galaxy NGC4826". Nature. 360: 442. Bibcode:1992Natur.360..442B. doi:10.1038/360442a0.
  7. ^ a b H.-W. R. Rix; R. C. Kennicutt & R. A. M. Walterbos (1995). "Placid stars and excited gas in NGC 4826". Astrophysical Journal. 438: 155. Bibcode:1995ApJ...438..155R. doi:10.1086/175061.
  8. ^ distance × sin( diameter_angle) = 52,962 ly.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: Sky map 12h 56m 43.7s, +21° 40′ 58″