|Right Ascension||12 : 13.8 (h:m)
|Declination||+14 : 54 (deg:m)
|Visual Brightness||10.1 (mag)
|Apparent Dimension||9.5x3.2 (arc min)
Discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1781.
M98 is one of the more difficultly observable galaxies in the Virgo Cluster, although it is situated in constellation Coma. It can be best located by starting from the 5th mag star 6 Comae Berenices, which is east of M98.
Holmberg has speculated that M98 could be a foreground galaxy rather than a cluster member, because it is approaching us, at 125 km/sec. However, in the opinion of the present author, this is one of the strongest arguments that M98 is actually a Virgo member ! In the dense massive Virgo cluster, both infall velocity and close encounters may have summed easily up to a motion of slightly more than 1200 km/sec, and this is apparently pointing in the direction toward us, by chance, resulting in the measure blue shift in the spectrum of this galaxy.
M98 is nearly edge-on and displays a chaotic, diffuse disk, containing some blue regions of newly formed stars, and a huge quantity of occulting dust, which reddens considerably the light of the central small but bright nucleus.
Last Modification: 9 Dec 1999, 22:59 MET