NGC 4856 & NGC 4902 -- Galaxies in Virgo
Both NGC 4856, a Lenticular Galaxy, and NGC 4902, a Barred Spiral Galaxy, easily fit into
the same one-degree field-of-view in my 155mm refractor at a magnification of 84x. Both are
relatively easy to locate because NGC 4856 is east of a bright 7.0 magnitude star while NGC
4902 is nearly rubbing against a pair of 10th magnitude stars.
NGC 4856 is the brighter of the pair and it shows a star-like nucleus while NGC 4902 is more
amorphous showing no detail from my suburban backyard. NGC 4902 is somewhat of a
ghost since it is so close to the pair of 10th magnitude stars. The galaxy’s weak glow requires
a bit of work to tease out from the glare of the twin stars.