Messier 84

Elliptical or lenticular galaxy in the constellation Virgo
Messier 84 nucleus by HST

Messier 84 (also known as NGC 4374) is a lenticular galaxy in the constellation of Virgo. M84 is in the heavily populated inner core of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies.[1]

Radio observations and Hubble Space Telescope images of M84 have revealed two jets of matter shooting out from the galaxy's centre, as well as a disk of rapidly rotating gas and stars. This suggests there is a supermassive black hole at the centre of the galaxy. Its mass is 1.5 ×109 M, that is gravitation amounting to 15 billion solar masses.[2]


Charles Messier discovered Messier 84 in 1781 when he searched for "nebulous objects" in the night sky.[3] The object is the 84th in the Messier Catalogue.


Two supernovae have been observed in M84: SN 1957[4] and SN 1991bg.[5] Possibly, a third, SN 1980I is part of M84 or, alternatively, one of its neighboring galaxies, NGC 4387 and M86.[6]


  1. Finoguenov A. & Jones C. (2002). "Chandra observation of low-mass X-Ray binaries in the elliptical galaxy M84". Astrophysical Journal. 574 (2): 754–761. arXiv:astro-ph/0204046. Bibcode:2002ApJ...574..754F. doi:10.1086/340997.
  2. Bower G.A. (1998). "Kinematics of the nuclear ionized gas in the radio galaxy M84 (NGC 4374)". Astrophysical Journal. 492 (1): 111–114. arXiv:astro-ph/9710264. Bibcode:1998ApJ...492L.111B. doi:10.1086/311109.
  3. Jones K.G. (1991). Messier's nebulae and star clusters (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-37079-5.
  4. Götz W. (1958). "Supernova in NGC 4374 (= M 84)". Astronomische Nachrichten. 284 (3): 141. Bibcode:1958AN....284..141G. doi:10.1002/asna.19572840308.
  5. Kosai H.; et al. (1958). "Supernova 1991bg in NGC 4374". IAU Circ. 5400: 1. Bibcode:1991IAUC.5400....1K.
  6. Smith H.A. (1981). "The spectrum of the intergalactic supernova 1980I". Astronomical Journal. 86: 998–1002. Bibcode:1981AJ.....86..998S. doi:10.1086/112975.