Displaying items by tag: Galaxy
NGC 891 galaxy is located in Andromeda. Similar in size and shape to our galaxy, it's what ours would look like viewed edge on. Fingers of dust and gas are seen extending above and below the galaxies disk, possibly cause by past supernovas expelling gas and dust.
Messier 31 or the Andromeda Galaxy, located in the constellation of Andromeda contains more than one trillion stars. Also visible are Messier 110 above the galaxy, and Messier 32 just below the galaxy disk. Two of the 14 satellite galaxies around Messier 31. Until 1923 it was debated whether such objects were nebula located in our galaxy or separate galaxies like our own Milky Way galaxy. In 1923 Edwin Hubble identified Cepheid variable stars in Messier 31. Cepheid variables have a well defined brightness to variability period that allows astronomers to measure distance to them by knowing their actual brightness. Their distance placed them well outside of our galaxy.
Messier 31 is actually approaching us, and is expected to merge with our galaxy in 4 billion plus years in the future.
NGC 3079 is a barred spiral in Ursa Major, but for me the real "star" in this image is the Twin Quasar. Which is a single quasar that appears doubled by gravitational lensing by a foreground galaxy. It took the light 8.7 billion years to arrive here. The light from one component takes an additional 14 months to arrive having taken a longer path. This was the first observable object demonstrating the effects of gravitational lensing.
Messier 51 and NGC 5194 are a pair of interacting galaxies. It is the brightest member of the M51 galaxy group, which also includes M63, the Sunflower galaxy. It is about 35-40% the size of our galaxy, and is Seyfert galaxy with an active galactic nucleus. NGC 5194 is thought to have passed through M51's disk some 500 million years ago that led to an enhanced spiral pattern and increased star formation and then passing through the disk again some 50-100 million years ago to a position currently located behind the galaxy. The two galaxies will eventually merge after a few more passes.
Messier 61 is a barred spiral galaxy located in Virgo, and part of the Virgo galaxy cluster. M61 is roughly the same size as our galaxy and is classified as a starburst galaxy that is undergoing a high rate of star formation. On May 6, supernova 2020jfo was discovered in the galaxy making it one of seven that has happened in this galaxy that has been observed this century.
Messier 109 is a barred spiral located in Ursa Major, and the brightest galaxy of the M109 galaxy group. It has a radius of around 90,000 light years and contains an estimated 1 trillion stars. Charles Messier made note of the nebula, but it wasn't included in his original catalog. M104 through M110 were added later by other astronomers. Many distant background galaxies are in this view.
Messier 63, also called the Sunflower Galaxy is a spiral galaxy located in Canes Venatici. While the galaxy only has two major spiral arms, they are patchy and wrapped around the core forming what is called a flocculent type spiral galaxy. It is a prominent member of the M51 galaxy group.
Many distant background galaxies are also present in the image.
Discovered by Pierre Mechain in 1779, and added by Charles Messier to his catalog.
NGC 2683 is a nearly edge on spiral galaxy, with a possible barred structure. Located in Lynx, and lies approximately 25 million light years away.
IC 342, sometimes called the Hidden Galaxy because it is heavily obscured by dust since it lies in the direction of the galactic equator of our Milky Way galaxy. Without that, it would be one of the brighter galaxies in our night sky.