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M65 (NGC 3623)
Anna Zylema

Ghost of Jupiter

Messier 65 in an intermediate spiral galaxy and a part of the constellation Leo. An intermediate spiral galaxy is a mix between a barred spiral galaxy and an unbarred spiral galaxy which is defined as a congregation of stars held together by gravity. The way an intermediate spiral galaxy forms is by starting out as a giant cloud of gas at a temperature close to absolute zero (-273.15°C), collapsing under gravity once it reaches a mass 109-1011 times the mass of the sun. A spiral galaxy will form if the gas cloud is rotating as it collapses and the gas flattens out to form a disk shape; the center of the galaxy condenses so much a black hole forms there and is called the galactic nucleus. This particular galaxy was discovered by Charles Messier in 1780, being included in his Messier Objects list which measure from M1-M110. M65 is in the Leo Triplet—M65, M66, and NGC 3628—so it is under the gravitational influence of its neighbors. It’s said to have a prominent central lense and tightly wound spiral arms with a striking dust lane marking the facing edge and has little star formation in it.

In the image, it appears that the most massive part of the galaxy is in the center where the bright dot is. All of the other dots surrounding the galaxy are foreground stars (in our own galaxy) and because there aren’t many within the galaxy itself, it can be confirmed that there is very little star formation within the galaxy. The spirals around the center of the galaxy form rings of varying magnitude; this could because of a varying density of the gas, varying particle size determining how it best scatters light, or a mix of the two. It’s hard to be able to tell what’s really happening within the spirals because of the oblique angle M65 is seen from at Earth, but this image seems to verify the information that is found online.

References:

Frommert, Hartmut, and Christine Kronberg. "Messier 65." Messier Object 65. N.p., 20 Apr. 2013. Web. 05 May 2016. <http://messier.seds.org/m/m065.html>.

Wikipedia, "Messier 65".

Wikipedia, "Intermediate spiral galaxy"

Right Ascension (J2000) 11:18:55.60
Declination (J2000) +13:05:27.0
Filters used B (Blue), C (Clear), R (Red), V (Green)
Exposure x number of images for each filter B, V, R, and C (90s x 7)
Image dimension 500x500 pixels; 0.160 x 0.160 arcminutes
Date/time observed March 16, 2016, 12:21 UT
Distance 10.731 Mpc (Wikipedia, Messier 65)
Scale 3.1 kpc/arcminute

 

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