Galaxy Messier 49 is the most luminous object in the Virgo Galaxy Cluster – its apparent brightness is 8.4mag. It is placed about 56 mln light years away and there is no closer galaxy more luminous than M49. This is the first galaxy discovered in the Virgo Cluster and the second one discovered outside our Local Galaxy Group (the first one was the M83). M49 is surrounded by about 6000 globular clusters (our Milky Way has about 200 for comparison) and in its core there is supermassive black hole – 565 milion times more massive than our Sun! (in galaxies similar to Milky Way the core black hole has the mass about few million of solar masses).
Messier 49 is not so popular among the astronomy amateurs, but quite famous among the professional astronomers – you may judge it by the number of symbols it was denominated in the different catalogs: M49, NGC 4472, UGC 07629, ARP 134, VCC 1226, CGCG 042-134, CGCG 1227.2+0816, MCG +01-32-083, GIN 781, 2MASX J12294679+0800014, SDSS J122946.76+080001.7, GALEX J122946.6+080000, WBL 410-005, LDCE 0904 NED146, HDCE 0720 NED121, USGC U490 NED177, ACSVCS 001, HOLM 413A, PGC 041220, RBS 1118, UZC J122946.6+075958, MG1 J122942+0800, 87GB 122714.6+081649, NVSS J122946+080002, FAUST 3181, FAUST V083, RGB J1229+080, RX J1229.7+0759, 1RXS J122945.9+075927, RXC J1229.7+0759, 2XMM J122946.8+080003, 1H 1228+081, 1M 1231+071, 1ES 1227+082, XSS J12312+0833, 174 NED128, 2E 2735, 2U 1231+07, 3U 1231+07, 4U 1232+07, APG 134, INTREF 501, LEDA 041220, ufff… impressive, isn’t it?
There are pretty lot of other galaxies in this frame, actually as you can see in the enlarged crops below there are more galaxies in the picture than stars 🙂 Some of them are really distant – I detected (using SDSS servers) galaxies up to 3 billion years away.