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NGC 4565 (Spiral Galaxy)
Ray Petersen

Spiral Galaxy, NGC 4565

Dubbed "the Needle Galaxy" because of its recognizable narrow shape, this spiral galaxy was first spotted by Sir William Herschel (1738-1822) in 1785 (Herschel is known for having discovered the planet Uranus). NGC4565 is famous for being an exemplary edge-on spiral galaxy and is located some 30 million light-years away in the constellation Coma Berenices (meaning "Berenice's Hair"). The Needle Galaxy displays a bright yellowish central bulge that juts out above impressive dust lanes.

The galaxy's bulging central core is dominated by light from a population of older, yellowish stars. Surrounding it are eye-catching dust lanes that make up most of its size. Our galaxy would not look vastly different from this one if observed from the right position. The distance to this galaxy is estimated to be 30 million light years; we find a maximum angular size of 799.1 arcseconds, which corresponds to a linear size of 116.224.274 light years. Our galaxy is roughly 100,000 light-years in diameter, which is similar to the diameter of The Needle Galaxy.

References:

 

European Southern Observatory. "Spiral Galaxy NGC 4565." 10 August 2005. http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso0525a/

Bruce Hugo and Leslie Gaul. "NGC4565: Galaxy on the Edge." Astronomy Picture of the Day. 2004 April 9 <http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap040409 .html>

Right Ascension (J2000) 12:36:18
Declination (J2000) 25:59:00
Filters used B (Blue), C (Clear), R (Red), V (Green)
Exposure time per filter B, V, and R (300s); C (60s x 5)
Date observed March 23, 0304 UT

 

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