Huser Astro Gallery - Galaxies 2

Click on photos to enlarge. 

The Pinwheel or M33 has ‘arms’, but these show only at long exposures. To prevent the center from over-exposure and ‘burn-out’, we made this image using non-linear tricks. Now the arms AND center show.

 A second look at NGC 206 in the Andromeda Galaxy. This is a nebula and birthplace of stars similar to the Great Nebula of Orion in our galaxy. Both nebulae have young stars with surface temperatures of 60,000 degrees K.

 M60, in Vir, is a giant elliptical galaxy, about one trillion solar masses, 5 times that of the Milky Way. Its diameter is about 120,000 light years, and it is 55 million l-y away. The faint spiral galaxy, NGC 4647 is nearly in contact with M-60. This galaxy had the 15th magnitude Type I supernova 1979a.
Many astronomers think that giant elliptical galaxies like M-60 form when smaller galaxies collide and combine into an elliptical galaxy.  M60 is thus not an “old” glob. Ultimately NGC 4647 will merge into M60, but they are still 100,000 to 200,000 l-y apart.

 M85, NGC 4382, in Coma Berenices, an ellipt. cluster, SO class, with barred spiral NGC 4394 8’ to East. Both are in the Virgo Cluster. M85 has mainly old yellow stars while 4394 is a young spiral. M85 is 125,000 l-y across and pulls in the smaller 4394 and will merge. M85 had super nova SN 1960R.

M87 is a giant elliptical galaxy, 60 million l-y away with 1 to 2  10*12 solar masses (3 to 5 times more massive than M31, Andromeda Galaxy). It has a large black hole emitting strong radio waves and causing a jet. The jet is barely visible at the right of M87, but it is 4,000 l-y long.

M88, this single frame out of 20 we took, shows a satellite zipping by. This frame was eliminated from the series of 20 in the processing of the image. But it is still interesting.

M88, NGC 4501 in Coma Berenices, a bright symmetrical spiral galaxy. We see it as about 30 degrees from edge-on. It is 60,000 l-y across and 40 million l-y away, but still part of the Virgo Group (as we, in Milky Way, are). Its speed, measured from the red-shift, is too large to stay in the Virgo Group. We might have to wave good-bye in a billion years or so.

 M90, NGC 4569 in Virgo, is another neighbor of us in the Virgo Group. It is like our Milky Way, 7’ x  1.5’ in apparent size, 80,000 l-y across and 42 million l-y away. Its mass is about 80 billion solar masses.

NGC 7217, in Peg, is a many-armed tight spiral galaxy we see face-on. The arms are not continuous or regular and interrupted by dust rings. The name “flocculent spiral” is used for this pattern. Its mag is 11 and it is 41 million l-y away; the size is only 2 ½ arc-min in the sky.

Stephan’s Quintet, NGC 7317, in Peg, shows a huge cosmic collision with unique star formation processes. Four of the quintet are 35 million l-y away, the fifth, NGC 7320, is likely closer. The four are gravitationally bound. Its mag is only 14.

NGC 7479 or H55-1, the “S-shaped Spiral”, is a barred-type spiral galaxy, 100 million l-y away, mag 11.6 and 4’ x 3’ in apparent size. It had the SuperNova 1990u.

NGC 7814 in Pegasus is right-on edge-on as viewed from Earth. It is 40 to 50 million l-y away, size only 4’ x 2’ and mag 11.6.

 M94 (NGC 4736) in CVn, is a bright (mag 8.9), nearly circular, face-on spiral galaxy. Its central core is 30 arc sec in size; the tightly wound spiral arms diminish fast in brightness and extend to 50”. It has also a dim outer ring of abt. 4’. Distance is 20 10*6 l-y and the diam is 20,000 l-y. We will revisit this one for a much longer exposure.

M99 (NGC 4254) in Com (Coma Berenices) has a pinwheel shape. It is face-on, brightness mag 10.5 and 250” across. In 1967 and 72 it had SuperNovae, but not tonight. Distance is 50 10*6 l-y.


M100 (NGC 4321) in Com is bright (mag 9), nearly face-on and 50 10*6 l-y away. Two much fainter galaxies are nearby.

M108 (NGC 3556) in UMa is a nearly edge-on spiral galaxy of mag 9 brightness. Its size is 8’ x 1’, distance 45 10*6 l-y and it has an irregular dark dust lane.

M109 (NGC 3992) in UMa is a “barred” spiral, 55 10*6 l-y away and of mag 10.5. It always appears slightly fuzzy but the bar is a noteworthy feature. Galaxy UGC 6969 is to the left on the photo as a faint smudge. The bright star just above center is a star in the foreground belonging to our Milky Way galaxy and thus not a SN.

NGC 4559 in Com is a very nice spiral galaxy halfway between edge-on and face-on. Distance is 25 10*6 l-y but brightness only mag 13. We will return to this beauty for a much longer exposure, 40 x 100 sec, to reveal its interesting details. 

NGC 4565 in Com is a bright (mag 10) edge-on galaxy, size 15’ x 1.5’, at a distance of 20 10*6 l-y and one of the nicest “edge-ons”.

NGC 4565 in Com (Coma Berenices) is the largest edge-on spiral galaxy we see; likely still belonging to the Virgo Cluster; mag 10.5 and 20 million l-y away.

 M101 or “Pinwheel” galaxy in UMa is a face-on spiral galaxy. It is somewhat bluish and of low density (only 10% of the density of our Milky Way); therefore it has low contrast, looks “smudgy”, and needs real dark skies to show its spiral arms. It had Super Novae in 1909, 1951 and 1970 adding to its fame.

Ngc 3079 A “barred” spiral galaxy in UMa with a “bubble” at its center. 50 10*6 l-y away, the “bubble” is 3,000 l-y  in size and 3,500 l-y above the galaxy’s plane. Bubble is formed by high-speed particles (a hot super wind) left over from a large burst of star formations. This one is 1 million years old and these bursts (and bubbles) form repeatedly with a period of about 10 million years, acc. to models.

Ngc 3184 A face-on beauty with long arms and many young, hot, blue stars in UMa and about 30 million l-y away is Ngc 3184. A decade ago it featured a SN and in color it would show its blue colors.

 Ngc 3198 This one is of theoretical interest because of its large dark matter halo. From the orbital velocities of the stars, it could be calculated that the dark mass is twice the mass of the visible (baryonic) mass of the stars in this galaxy. The bright star (in the foreground) just above 3198 is a very close double. The double is not resolved, but discernible (barely), in the photo.

 Ngc 3718 This is a disturbed galaxy in UMa with twisted extensions on either side likely caused by a close encounter with another galaxy. I remember this one from long ago; it is the perfect galaxy-cocktail with a twist, a “bar”, bright nucleus and thin, curved, dark dust lanes. It's 50 million l-y away; Ngc 3729 is to the right, but cut off partially. Just below are the 5 galaxies known as the strange “Hickson Group 56"; they are 400 million l-y away.

 Ngc 3718 same as the the one on the left, but I selected the 18 best ones of the 21 exposures. This allowed me to use PhotoShop a bit more aggressively on the stacked image

Canes II Group (or CVn-II Group) and is part of the M106 Group.