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Astr111 Photography Projects, Spring 2007

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Galaxy (NGC 5322), Benjamin De Nooy

Galaxy (NGC 5322)

NGC 5322 is one of four elliptical galaxies that lie in and around the bowl of the Big Dipper, or more technically Northeastern Ursa Major. This irregularly round elliptical galaxy appears in the night sky as a diffuse light with a slightly brighter center. Although the center has no distinct central point, a halo shape does form around the central region in an east-west direction. This halo, a thin dust lane, is a luminous source of X-ray emission. Elliptical galaxies are three dimensional objects which contain random motion as opposed to spiral galaxies which have very little random motion and are dominated by rotation.

Deep at the heart of NGC 5322 there is a supermassive black hole of nearly 100 million solar masses, which could be the source of the galaxy's ultra-high energy cosmic rays that have recently been detected. These very rare cosmic rays have also been detected from the direction of three other nearby "retired" quasar host galaxies: NGC 3610, NGC 3613, and NGC 4589. Cosmic rays are made up of atomic and subatomic particles and they are the fastest moving bits of matter in the universe, moving at a speed of 10^19-10^22 electron volts.

References:
Burton, Jeff. Jeff Burton's Astronomy Blog. <http://x.astrogeek.org/observations/log.php?object_id=624>.

Schilling, Govert. "Are Dormant Quasars Throwing 'Baseballs' at Us?" Sky & Telescope (July 23, 2003). <http://skytonight.com/news/3305976.html?showAll=y&c=y>.

Wanjek, Christopher. "Fun Times with Cosmic Rays." NASA Solar System Exploration. <http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/scitech/display.cfm?ST_ID=245>.

 

Right Ascension (J2000) 13:49:15
Declination (J2000) 60:11:29
Filters used clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 5x60 seconds in C
Date observed

March 3, 2007 (C)