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Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2008

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Bear Paw Galaxy (NGC2537), Samuel VanGroningen

Bear Paw Galaxy

The Bear Paw Galaxy got its name from the apparent shape of a bear's paw and was discovered in 1787 by William Herschel. The Bear Paw is located near the neck of the Lynx constellation. This galaxy is made up of roughly a few billion stars and was originally thought to be a globular cluster, but is now considered to be an irregular dwarf glaxy (the most common type of galaxy). Dwarf galaxies are significantly smaller than galaxies like the milky way.

In the Image above, the faint "paw" shaped object is the Bear Paw Galaxy. The image was taken using the four available filters (blue, green, red, and clear). The shape of the galaxy is unusual and scientists do not know exactly how the galaxy formed, unlike spiral or ellipticle galaxies, hence the irregular shape. The magnitute of the Bear Paw is about 11.7, which can make the galaxy difficult to find in the night sky (not to mention that it is surrounded by some closer and brighter stars). The image above has an angular size of 0.78 minutes. The estimated linear size across the Bear Paw Galaxy is 4,530 light years, although it rests in the sky roughly 20 million light years away.

 

References:

"Lesser Known Galaxies" http://members.tripod.com/~btboar/Galaxies.html

"The Astronomy Connection" NGC 2547 Bear Paw Galaxy. http://www.observers.org/tac.mailing.list/2003/Feb/0379.html

 

 


Right Ascension (J2000) 8:13:2
Declination (J2000) + 46
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 5x60 seconds in each
Date observed

March 14, 2009