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Astr112 Photography Projects, Fall 2007

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Deer Lick Group, Angie Parks

Deer Lick Group

The Deer Lick Group is a galaxy cluster.  The dominant galaxy that is most visible to us is NGC7331 though you can see more than five galaxies in this picture alone.  A few of those galaxies being NGC 7340, NGC 7335 and NGC 7337.  A galaxy is a vast collection of stars, gas, and dust held together by gravity, and usually separated from other galaxies by a large amount of space.  Most of the galaxies in the Deer Lick Group are spiral galaxies.  The group was given its name because of one of the supposed best viewing nights ever at Deer Lick Gap in the North Carolina Mountains.  It is located in the constellation Pegasus.  This group is often referred to as looking incredibly similar to what our galaxy would look like from the same distant and tilt.   So it can help us see what we would look like if an alien 50 million light years away was taking pictures of our galaxy.


In this picture we see a vast variety of spiral galaxies.  A spiral galaxy is different from other galaxies because it has spiral arms coming out of its center that all move in the same direction.  You can clearly see the bright bulge in the center of the NGC7331 Galaxy as well as the tightly wound spiral arms surrounding it. You can also see some nice dust lanes around the right edge of NGC7331. These are caused by dust that blocks out light to the viewer, these cause the dark lines we see in the spirals of the center galaxy. Though the group may extend out past the edges of the photograph the size of the photograph shows 200,000 by 300,000 lightyears.

References:

de Regt, Mark. "Galaxy Group In Pegasus". Mark de Regt's Astronomical Images. <http://www.de-regt.com/Astronomy/DeerLick.htm>.

Boyle, Gary. "Northern Skies". The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. <http://www.rasc.ca/news/The_Sky_This_Month_September_2007.shtml>.

Solomon, Jim. "Deer Lick Group and Stephen's Quintet". Sargatoga Skies. <http://www.saratogaskies.com/image.pl?i=52>.

Right Ascension (J2000) 22:37:5.1
Declination (J2000) 34:25:10
Filters used Clear (C)
Exposure time per filter 4 x 60 seconds
Date observed

October 23 , 2007 (C)