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Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2009

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The Box, Kate Boomsma

The Box

In the center of this photo, we see The Box: four galaxies in the shape of a rectangle. A galaxy is a massive system containing stars, dust, gas, and probably black holes (referred to as dark matter). The three categories of galaxies, categorized by shape and sometimes interractions with other galaxies, include what are called spiral galaxies, elliptical galaxies, peculiar galaxies, starburst galaxies, and irregular galaxies.

The Box is seen in the center of this photo: four illuminated objects that appear darker and more yellow than the stars. Five galaxies can be found in this photo: the four that comprise The Box, and a fifth, which appears on the lower right side of the photo. It sharply contrasts the star above and to the right of it. (The galaxy is identifiable by its fuzziness and yellowish coloring). The Box galaxy cluster is two hundred million light years away. The biggest and brightest galaxy in this cluster is identified as NGC 4169; the galaxy farthest below and to the left of it is NGC 4174; NGC 4174's appearance resembles a star more than the other three. The remaining two galaxies in this cluster, seeming to form a single, straight, slanted line and differing greatly in brightness. The "higher" one is hard to see as a faint tilted bluish streak while the leftmost galaxy below it is quite clear and somewhat yellow. They are identified as NGC 4175 and NGC 4173. Its linear size is 187,134 ly. The apparent angular separation between NGC 4175 and NGC 4173 is 3.2 arcminutes. For more information: http://www.skyhound.com/sh/archive/apr/HCG_61.html

Right Ascension (J2000) '12 12 12.50'
Declination (J2000) '+29 10 00.0'
Filters used green(V)
Exposure time per filter 5x60 in CBVR
Date observed

April 3, 2009 (CBVR)