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Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2010

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Black Eye Galaxy, Magdalyn Van Huizen

Black Eye Galaxy

The Black Eye Galaxy, also referred to as the "Sleeping Beauty" or the "Evil Eye" Galaxy, is a spiral galaxy within the Coma Berenices constellation. One of the main, distinguishing features of the Black Eye Galaxy is that of the dark dust lane that is visible even in smaller telescopes. There are two regions to the galaxy and they are rotating in opposite directions, separated by the dark dust lane. The opposing directions of the two regions create many new stars. The dust and the strange opposite rotation is most likely the result of two galaxies merging together. The Black Eye Galaxy was discovered by Edward Pigott in March 1779 as well as Johann Elert Bode in April of that same year, and Charles Messier in 1780. The Black Eye Galaxy is approximately 17 million light years away from Earth.

In the above image, the bright central bulge of the spiral galaxy is clearly visible. Also, the dark dust lane is evident surrounding the bulge. The angular size is 1.528 arc minutes. The linear size is about 7.6 thousand light years. These measurements are based on the size of the visible dust cloud. The entire galaxy extends beyond this visible size.

References:

Messier 64

NASA Picture of the Day

Wikipedia, Black Eye Galaxy

Right Ascension (J2000) 12:56:44:30
Declination (J2000) +21:41:05
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 300 seconds in BVRC
Date observed

March 2, 2010 (BVRC)