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Wildrik Botjes Planetarium
Physics & Astronomy Department

Astr111 Photography Projects, Fall 2005

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M32(Eliptical Galaxy), Elizabeth Schaefer

M32

M32 is the closest elliptical galaxy to our own, at a distance of only 2.5 million light years. It is considered a dwarf galaxy and much of its outer lying star clusters may have been absorbed by its companion galaxy, M31 (Andromeda). M32 was discovered by Le Gentil on October 29, 1749 and was the first elliptical galaxy ever cataloged.

In this particular image of M32, the more intricate details of the galaxy are not visible because of the over-saturation of the image. A clear, well-defined image of M32 is very hard to capture because of the extremely dense nature of the center of the galaxy. Although a full color picture was generated. the image apears to be monochromatic. This indicates that the stars in the field of view are emitting equal amounts of all colors of light. It is also interesting to note the "cloud" of the Andromeda galaxy--clearly visible in the upper-left corner of the image.

References:
http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m032.html

 

Right Ascension (J2000) 00:42:00
Declination (J2000) + 40:25:00
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 5x60 seconds in C, 300 seconds in BVR
Mass 3 million M solar
Size 221 PC
Linear Size 1338.08 Light Years
Date observed

October 6, 2005 (C)
October 7, 2005 (VR)

October 11, 2005 (B)