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Messier 49 - Galaxy in Virgo Astrophotography Tips & Pictures

M49 is an elliptical galaxy located 55.9 million light-years away in the constellation Virgo. Being an elliptical galaxy, Messier 49 is the least visually interesting deep-sky object to capture, and so is not often imaged by amateur astrophotographers. M49 was the first object discovered in the famous Virgo cluster, and the brightest.

Object Designation: M49, NGC 4472

Also known as: N/A

Constellation: Virgo

Object Type: Elliptical Galaxy

Distance: 55.9 million light-years away

Magnitude: 8.4

Discovery: Charles Messier on February 19, 1771

M49 is easy to photograph and process, and is technically a good beginner astrophotography target if it wasn't for the lack of any exciting feature... Around Messier 49 you will find several other small galaxies, as it is almost always the case when targetting anything in the Virgo constellation.

M49 is best photographed in the Spring season. Below you'll see our photograph of M49 along with several useful bits of information.


M49 Astrophotography from a Dark Site

May 2023

We photographed the M49 galaxy from the dark skies of Utah Desert Remote Observatories with our 5" refractor telescope. We used a monochrome camera with just R, G, and B filters which were enough, as this area of the sky does not seem to have any narrowband signal anywhere. We spent a total of 5 hours total on it which is very short for us as we often aim for 20+ hours when we do astrophotography. In this case, there seemed to be no point in shooting more data than that since there would be no extra detail or faint gas to bring out.

Below you can see our final processed image of Messier 49.

M49 galaxy astrophotography in RGB


Camera: QHY600M

Telescope: Stellarvue SVX130

Mount: 10Micron GM1000 HPS

Accessories: Moonlite Nitecrawler focuser / Pegasus Astro Ultimate Powerbox