Galaxies NGC 4206, NGC 4216 & NGC 4222

Object Description

NGC 4206, NGC 4216, NGC 4222
NGC 4206, NGC 4216, NGC 4222: Three galaxies in Virgo (v. l. n. r.); 500 mm Cassegrain f/7.2; SBIG STL11K; 90-30-30-30 min LRGB; Bernese Highlands; © 2011 Radek Chromik

The two galaxies NGC 4189 and NGC 4222 were discovered on 8 April 1784 by the German-British astronomer William Herschel with his self-made 18.7 inch f/12.8 reflecting telescope in Slough, England. A few days later on April 17, he encountered the galaxies NGC 4193, NGC 4206 and 4216 a little further south. [196, 277] This reveals how Herschel proceeded with his discoveries at the time: He adjusted his long, cable-mounted telescope to a certain altitude and let the earth's rotation pass the sky At night he adjusted his telescope to a different altitude and mapped the next strip.

The double entries IC 3050, IC 3051, IC 3064 and IC 3087 come from the German astronomer Friedrich Carl Arnold Schwassmann, who photographed this area of the sky on September 17 and 16 November 1900 with the 6 inch astro camera of the Königstuhl Observatory in Heidelberg. Neither Schwassmann nor Dreyer It was noticeable that the positions with Herschel's discovered NGC 4189, NGC 4193, NGC 4206 and NGC 4222 coincided, which is why they appeared in the «Second Index Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars» published by Dreyer in 1910. This only occurred to the American astronomer in 1930 Adelaide Ames discovered and mapped over 3000 galaxies in Coma Berenices and Virgo. [196, 277]

NGC 4206, NGC 4216, NGC 4222
NGC 4206, NGC 4216, NGC 4222: Stellar tidal streams of NGC 4216 plus asteroid (45696) 2000 EM167; 400 mm Cassegrain f/3; SBIG STL11M; 7h LRGB; Oberes Schlierental 1450m ü. M.; © 7. 2. 2011 Eduard von Bergen

NGC 4216 is an SAB(s)b type barred spiral galaxy and is located on the outskirts of the Virgo Cluster, about 4° from its center (M 87). We see them almost edge-on at an angle of about 85°. In the center is a red and compact core surrounded by characteristic dusty bands. The galaxy is surrounded by a very diffuse stellar halo with filamentous structures and tidal currents. These structures are thought to result from an earlier heavy bombardment from dwarf galaxies. The very low radial velocity of 129 km/s, which is very different from the Virgo cluster's average radial velocity of 1300 km/s, shows that this galaxy is moving relatively fast with respect to the center of the cluster. NGC 4216 is the most massive galaxy within a range of 400 kpc radios. The nearest higher mass galaxy is M 99 at a distance of 420 kpc. [444]

The five galaxies belong to the Virgo cluster and are located at a distance of about 16 Mpc to 38 Mpc. Between NGC 4189 and NGC 4222 lies the IAU boundary of the constellation Virgo. NGC 4189 lies north of this limit and is already in the constellation of Coma Berenices. [145]

«Catalogue of Principal Galaxies (PGC)», Paturel et al. 1989 [144]
NameRA [hms]Dec [dms]mTypeDim [']Btot [mag]HRV [km/s]PA [°]
PGC 39025, NGC 4189, IC 305012 13 46.7+13 25 36SB2.5 x 1.712.5211285
PGC 39040, NGC 4193, IC 305112 13 53.4+13 10 27SB2.2 x 1.113.2247493
PGC 39183, NGC 4206, IC 306412 15 16.5+13 01 30S6.4 x 1.112.87020
PGC 39246, NGC 421612 15 53.0+13 08 58SB7.8 x 1.811.112919
PGC 39308, NGC 4222, IC 308712 16 22.6+13 18 31S3.1 x .513.922656

Finder Chart

The galaxy group is located in the constellation Virgo. The best observation time is February to June, when it is highest at night.

Chart Galaxies NGC 4206, NGC 4216 & NGC 4222
Galaxies NGC 4206, NGC 4216 & NGC 4222 in constellation Coma Berenices. Chart created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. [149, 160]

More Objects Nearby (±15°)


144Catalogue of Principal Galaxies (PGC); Paturel G., Fouque P., Bottinelli L., Gouguenheim L.; Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser. 80, 299 (1989); (2021-02-18)
145SIMBAD astronomical database;
149SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum;
160The STScI Digitized Sky Survey;
196Celestial Atlas by Curtney Seligman; (2020-12-28)
277«Historische Deep-Sky Kataloge» von Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke; (2021-02-17)
444«The Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey. IV. NGC 4216: A Bombarded Spiral in the Virgo Cluster» Sanjaya Paudel, Pierre-Alain Duc, Patrick Côté, Jean-Charles Cuillandre, Laura Ferrarese, Etienne Ferriere, Stephen D. J. Gwyn, J. Christopher Mihos, Bernd Vollmer, Michael L. Balogh, Ray G. Carlberg, Samuel Boissier, Alessandro Boselli, Patrick R. Durrell, Eric Emsellem, Lauren A. MacArthur, Simona Mei1, Leo Michel-Dansac, and Wim van Driel; The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 767, Number 2, 2013; DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/767/2/133