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Astr111 Photography Projects, Spring 2007

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Bear Paw Galaxy, Megan Smith

Bear Paw Galazy

The Bear Paw Galaxy, also known as NGC 2537, is very small and bright, and considered an irregular Dwarf galaxy. Dwarf galaxies are the most common type of galaxy found in the universe. They are made of only a few billion stars (a small number when compared to the Milky Way's 200-400 billion stars). The Bear Claw can be found within the Lynx constellation near the Great Bear constellation, which leads to how the this galaxy got its name. It also has an uncanny resemblance to a paw print with claws.

The Bear Paw falls under the irregular category of galaxies according to the Hubble classification of galaxies because it is considered neither spiral nor elliptical morphology. They are unpredictable and there is no known reason for their unusual formation. About a quarter of all galaxies are irregular. The white/yellow color seen in this image is similar to the color of our Sun, meaning this galaxy averages around 6,000 degrees. The Bear Claw Galaxy is approximately 5.9 Mpc away from Earth and about 5.26 Mpc in diameter.

References:
Schmidt, Karl. "A Look at Lynx." Spring Flowers and Spiral Galaxies. <http://www.angelfire.com/ky/astronomers/lynx.html>.

"Dwarf Galaxy ." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwarf_galaxy>

"Irregular Galaxy." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irregular_galaxy>

Right Ascension (J2000) 08:13:12
Declination (J2000) -46:00:00
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 1x300 seconds in C, 300 seconds in BVR
Date observed

March 11, 2007 (C)
March 11, 2007 (BVR)