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Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2008

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Helix Galaxy (NGC 2685), Landon Knoppers

Helix Galaxy

The Helix Galaxy, also called the pancake galaxy, is what is called a lenticular galaxy (meaning it has a central bulge and disk without spiral arms). Due to its gas, dust, and stars that orbit it at a right angle it is also referred to as a polar ring galaxy. Perpendicular to its disc is a spiral band composed of myriad thin filamentary strands of luminous hydrogen gas and star-forming regions. The Helix Galaxy is part of the Ursa Major constellation.

Most scientists consider the Helix Galaxy to be remarkably old and stable. It is approximately 40 million light-years away and 50 thousand light-years across. In the above photograph, however, the outer edges of the nebulae are not visible. With an angular dimension of 1.5, the visible part of the nebulae is about 25,000 light-years across.


Nemiroff, Rober & Bonell, Jerry "Astronomy Picture of the Day: Polar Ring Galaxy" <http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap070216.html>

Right Ascension (J2000) 08:56:21
Declination (J2000) -58:42:05
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 5x60 seconds in C, 300 seconds in BVR
Date observed

April 2, 2009