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Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2010

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Coddington Nebula, Michaelia Breuker

Coddington Nebula

This is a picture of the Coddington Nebula. It is faint, but it is a dwarf spiral galaxy that is formed of dark matter. As seen in this photo, the stars that are seen in the image, surrounding the galaxy, are part of the foreground of the image and are not actually contained in the galaxy. Also, they appear doubled in the photo because the telescope moved during the time of the exposure. This dark matter makes up 90% of the galaxy's mass. As seen in the picture and explained before, this galaxy is very faint and the spiral galaxy aspect is sometimes difficult to see. A dwarf spiral galaxy can be defined as a smaller version of a spiral galaxy. It has characteristics of low surface brightness, low hydrogen masses, small diameters and low luminosities. Most dwarf spiral galaxies are found outside of star clusters and therefore are sometimes known as clusters. As one source found on wikipedia explains, "Strong gravitational interactions between galaxies and interactions between galaxies and intracluster gas are expected to destroy the disks of most dwarf spiral galaxies."

In the picture above, the Coddington Nebula is very faint. There are many bright stars and other astronomical objects that can be seen around the faint galaxy, however, the galaxy can be seen within the middle of these. The nebula is a faint yellow orange color that can be seen in a diagonal pattern. I believe that with longer exposures and maybe a stronger telescope, a better picture of this nebula could be taken and examined. The angular size of the Coddington Nebula is 10 minutes. The Internet Engcyclopedia of Science estimated the distance to the Coddington Nebula to be 11,700 light years away. From this, the linear size, or diameter of this dwarf spiral galaxy can be calculated as 35 light years.

References:
The Internet Encyclopedia of Science <http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/C/Coddingtons_Nebula.html>

"Dwarf Spiral Galaxy." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 24 Nov. 2009. Web. 29 Mar. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwarf_spiral_galaxy>.

Right Ascension (J2000) 10:28:24
Declination (J2000) +68:25:00
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 5x60 seconds
Date observed

March 15, 2010 at 10:41:22 (EST)