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M108

Messier 108 (also known as NGC 3556) taken on March 01, 2012 is a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Ursa Major. It was discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1781 or 1782. From the perspective of the Earth, this galaxy is seen almost edge-on. This galaxy is an isolated member of the Ursa Major Cluster cluster of galaxies in the Virgo supercluster. It has a morphological classification of type SBbc in the de Vaucouleurs system, which means it is a barred spiral galaxy with somewhat loosely wound arms. The maximum angular size of the galaxy in the optical band is 11′.1 × 4′.6, and it is inclined 75° to the line of sight. This galaxy has an estimated mass of 125 billion times the mass of the Sun and includes about 290 ± 80 globular clusters. Examination of the distribution of neutral hydrogen in this galaxy shows shells of expanding gas extending for several kiloparsecs, known as H1 supershells. These may be driven by bursts of star formation activity, resulting in supernovae explosions. Alternatively they may result from an infall of gas from outside the galaxy or by radio jets.
M108