Looking out into the space in the constellation Canes Venatici approximately 10 million light years away, we see a galaxy called NGC 4244, also known as Caldwell 26, an edge-on loose spiral galaxy and Caldwell object. It is part of the M94 Group (the Canes Venatici I Group), a galaxy group relatively close to the Local Group containing our galaxy, the Milky Way. This galaxy is close enough that individual stars can be detected and measured which allows astronomers to use stellar properties to estimate the distance. Furthermore, NGC 4244 is in fact the largest galaxy in the group.
Viewing this specific galaxy, it appears to have little or no central bulge, while only a few star forming regions are visible; there is little active star formation. A nuclear star cluster is located at the center of the galaxy, where it’s bright. As a whole galaxy, it appears to have a thin ghostly streak that comes to a point on either end. The reason why NGC 4244 appear as a thin streak is due to the fact that it is an edge-on picture instead of picturing face on. Additionally, it is difficult to say whether the “star” in the center of the disk is a foreground star which happens to be in that direction, or whether this is the nucleus of the galaxy. Finally, in this image, it looks like this galaxy has a diameter of around 23,000 light years.
Eicher, David J. "The Universe from Your Backyard: A Guide to Deep-Sky Objects." AstroMedia 1988. Print.
Pasachoff, Jay M. Atlas of the Sky. Stars and Planets. New York: Peterson Field Guides, 2000. 578. Print.
|Right Ascension (J2000)||11:54:13|
|Exposure time per filter||300 seconds in C|
October 29, 2010 (C)