NGC 4365 -- Elliptical Galaxy in Virgo
Monarch of the W’ Cloud of Galaxies
NGC 4365 is a magnificent Elliptical Galaxy that is one of many galaxies that pepper the
constellation of the Virgin. However, NGC 4365, unlike most galaxies in Virgo, is not part
of the Virgo Super Cluster of Galaxies, but rules over its own collection of galaxies, 20
million light years beyond the Virgo Super Cluster. This more distant cloud of galaxies is
referred to as the “W’ Cloud”. Under a dark sky with a large Dobsonian Telescope the
potential of seeing 11 additional galaxies in the same field-of-view as in the drawing is doable.
With my 155mm refractor from my suburban backyard, only the large monarch galaxy, NGC
4365, ruling over the group-cloud can be detected.
NGC 4365 resides just 1 ¾ degrees from M 49 (a bright galaxy belonging to the Virgo Super
Cluster). Through the 155mm refractor no detail beyond NGC 4365’ core could really be seen.
I had half-convinced myself that I was picking up a little of the surrounding disk of the galaxy
but could never be 100% sure. Still, the Monarch was worth the view, even though I had to see
her numerous galaxy subjects, that danced around her, only in my imagination.