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Virgo galaxy cluster

Well over a thousand galaxies are known members of the Virgo Cluster, the closest large cluster of galaxies to our own local group. In fact, the galaxy cluster is difficult to appreciate all at once because it covers such a large area on the sky. Spanning about 5x3 degrees, this careful mosaic of telescopic images clearly records the central region of the Virgo Cluster through faint foreground dust clouds lingering above the plane of our own Milky Way galaxy. The cluster's dominant giant elliptical galaxy M87, is just below center in the frame. Above M87 is the famous interacting galaxy pair NGC 4438, also known as The Eyes. A closer examination of the image will reveal many Virgo cluster member galaxies as small fuzzy patches. Below is an image labelling the larger galaxies using NGC catalog designations. A close-up of galaxies M84, M86, and NGC 4388 (upper right) is shown here. On average, Virgo Cluster galaxies are measured to be about 48 million light-years away.
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