M61 is a barred spiral galaxy located in the nearby Virgo Cluster of Galaxies [ http://www.seds.org/messier/more/virgo_gal.html ]. Visible in M61 [ http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m061.html ] are a host of features common to spiral galaxies [ http://www.astro.princeton.edu/~frei/catalog.htm ]: bright spiral arms [ http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast162/Wi97/Unit4/spirals.html ], a central bar [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap970519.html ], dust lanes [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap980116.html ], and bright knots of stars. M61 [ http://crux.astr.ua.edu/gifimages/m61r.html ], also known as NGC 4303 [ http://www.astro.princeton.edu/~frei/Gcat_htm/Sub_sel/gal_4303.htm ], in similar to our own Milky Way Galaxy [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap971229.html ]. M61 was discovered by telescope in 1779 twice on the same day, but one observer initially mistook the galaxy for a comet. Light from M61 [ http://siggy.iusb.edu/netah/messier/mess-pict/pages/m061.html ] takes about 60 million years to reach us. Recent observations of M61 have detected unpredicted high velocity gas [ http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query?bibcode=1996ApJ...472L..77B&db_key=AST&nosetcookie=1&high=33613e8e5802351 ] moving in its halo.