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Astr112 Photography Projects, Fall 2007

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Galaxy M74 , Dusty Cole

Galaxy m74

Galaxy M74 is a grand design Sc spiral galaxy discovered in September of 1780 by Pierre Mechain. Mechain's discovery was made barely in time to be included in Messier's catalog published less than a month later. M74 is 35,000,000 lightyears away and receding from us at a speed of 793 km/s. It is the principle member of a small number of galaxies that have formed a group, mostly consisting of irregulars and two distorted spiral galaxies. Although M74 is nicely positioned to face us disk-on its low brightness throughout the disk makes it one of the harder galaxies to find through a telescope without a camera. M74 is 103 x 97 kly in diameter and contains about 100 billion stars.

The image shows the entire disk of M74. Its symmetrical shape has been caused by interactions with its nearby galaxies within its physical cluster that have caused pockets of gas to be dispersed under the gravitational pull into the galaxy. As can be see in the photo star formation is currently occurring within M74. The newer, brightest stars in the galaxy are currently in the outer rims of the galaxy while fewer bright stars remain in the galaxy's core.

References:
Jones, Kenneth . "Messier 74." Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.
<http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m074.html>.

Chandar, R, Miller, J. "M74." NASA/ESA collaboration . <http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap071201.html>

Right Ascension (J2000) 01:36.7
Declination (J2000) +15:47
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 5x60 seconds in C, B, V, R
Date observed

November 1, 2007 (CBVR)