Messier described the 88th entry in his 18th century
and Star Clusters as a spiral
nebula without stars.
Of course the
M88 is now understood
be a galaxy full of stars, gas, and dust, not unlike
our own Milky Way.
In fact, M88 is one of the brightest galaxies in the
Galaxy Cluster some 50 million
M88's beautiful spiral arms are easy to trace in this
The arms are lined with young blue
and obscuring dust
lanes extending from a yellowish
core dominated by an older
population of stars.
Spiral galaxy M88 spans over 100,000 light-years.