Can you see them? This famous Messier object M89, a seemingly simple elliptical galaxy, is surrounded by faint shells and plumes. The cause of the shells is currently unknown, but possibly tidal tails related to debris left over from absorbing numerous small galaxies in the past. Alternatively the shells may be like ripples in a pond, where a recent collision with another large galaxy created density waves that ripple through this galactic giant. M89 is a member of the nearby Virgo cluster of galaxies which lies about 50 million light years distant.
Image source: Mark Hanson