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Mirach's ghost (NGC 404)
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Mirach's ghost

Mirach’s ghost (NGC 404) is a lenticular galaxy. It is disk shaped, with little ongoing star formation and no spiral arms. It lies hidden on the top right side of a red giant star called Mirach, which is cooler than the Sun but much brighter. In most telescopic view, glare and diffraction spikes caused by Mirach make NGC 404 look faint, fuzzy and ghostly which is how it became known to astronomers as the "Ghost of Mirach."

NGC 404 only has few luminous stars, but a lot of red giants and asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars. The disk is made up of red giants while the bulges of the galaxy are composed of both red giants and AGB stars. The distance to this object is estimated to be 10,300,000 light years; we find a maximum angular size of 3.5 arcminutes, which corresponds to a linear size of 4.2 arcseconds.

References:

"'Ghost Of Mirach' Materializes In Space Telescope Image." ScienceDaily. <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081102211541.html>.

"Mirach's Ghost (NGC 404)." The encyclopedia of science. <http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/M/Mirachs_Ghost.html>

Right Ascension (J2000) 01:09:26
Declination (J2000) +35:43:06
Filters used B (Blue), R (Red), V (Green)
Exposure time per filter B, V, and R (300s)
Date observed October 25, 2012

 

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