#astronomy 5 Attention-grabbing NGC Objects! – Astronotes

January 16, 2021 - Comment

NGC stands for the New Common Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars, which is an astronomical catalogue of deep sky objects and was compiled in 1888 by the 4th director of the Armagh Observatory John Drayer. To today the NGC catalogue is nonetheless utilized by Astronomers all around the world and stays one of our many claims to fame!  incorporates 7840 objects together with nebulae, galaxies, globular cluster, supernova


NGC stands for the New Common Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars, which is an astronomical catalogue of deep sky objects and was compiled in 1888 by the 4th director of the Armagh Observatory John Drayer. To today the NGC catalogue is nonetheless utilized by Astronomers all around the world and stays one of our many claims to fame!  incorporates 7840 objects together with nebulae, galaxies, globular cluster, supernova remnants and planetary nebulae, all of that are given an NGC quantity. So, allow us to take a look at a number of the most fascinating NGC objects, in my view in fact.  

A Younger John Drayer (Picture credit score: courtesy of Armagh Observatory) 

Let’s start with the NGC 5194 higher often known as the Whirlpool Galaxy positioned 23 million gentle years away within the constellation of Canes Venatici. It was found in 1773 by Charles Messier when charting the evening skies and also you may acknowledge the identify messier after the Messier catalogue which is one other very well-known record of astronomical objects nonetheless used to today, with the whirlpool galaxy additionally being known as M51. In 1845 Irish astronomer William Parsons whereas utilizing the 72-inch reflecting telescope at Birr Fortress Co Offlay was the primary to uncover the spiral nature of this “nebulae”. It was not till the 1920’s that astronomers understood that these “spiral nebulae” had been really distant galaxies. So, not solely does NGC 5194 have a hyperlink to Eire, but it surely was additionally the very first spiral galaxy to be recognized.  

Messier 51 (The Whirlpool Galaxy) | NASAThe Whirlpool Galaxy is estimated to have over 100 billion stars.  (Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI) and the Hubble Heritage Workforce) 

One other fascinating object is NGC 7293 – extra generally often known as the Helix nebula, which is a planetary nebula; a star dying that has swollen in dimension, puffed off its outer layers and shrunk again right down to create a tiny white dwarf star. The identify “planetary nebulae” was coined within the 18th century by William Hershel earlier than the distinguish between planets and nebula had been made, planetary nebula have actually nothing to do with planets! That is additionally how our Solar will die however don’t fear this received’t occur for an additional 5 billion years.  

The Helix nebula is among the brightest and closest nebulae to Earth at a mere 700 gentle years away and estimated to be 10,600 years previous. Astronomers additionally consider that the Helix Nebula as soon as had a system of planets, moons, comets, and different celestial objects orbiting across the star simply as Earth and orbits round our Solar. On a transparent darkish evening, it’s even attainable to identify the Helix nebula with a pair of binoculars discovered within the constellation of Aquarius. The Helix nebula is a lovely instance of a remnant of a dying star.   

image of the helix nebulaESO’s Seen and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) has captured this uncommon view of the Helix Nebula (NGC 7293), a planetary nebula positioned 700 light-years away. The colored image was created from photographs taken by means of Y, J and Ok infrared filters. Whereas bringing to gentle a wealthy background of stars and galaxies, the telescope’s infrared imaginative and prescient additionally reveals strands of chilly nebular fuel which might be largely obscured in seen photographs of the Helix. Credit score: ESO/VISTA/J. Emerson. Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit

Up subsequent is our neighbouring galaxy NGC 244 higher often known as the Andromeda galaxy and at solely 2.5 million gentle years away is it’s the most distant object that may be seen with the bare eye with a magnitude of three.four. NGC 244 is discovered the constellation of Andromeda, therefore the identify and could be seen within the Autumn months. It’s the biggest galaxy in our native group of galaxies and is estimated to have over one trillion stars, double the quantity in our Milky Approach galaxy. The Andromeda has helped astronomer in understanding the origins of evolution of spiral galaxies as a result of its shut proximity to us. Ultimately the Andromeda Galaxy with collide and merge with our Milky Approach galaxy in round four.5 billion years to type one large single elliptical galaxy, so we’re secure for an additional few billion years! Nonetheless, what’s most fascinating is that in this galaxy collision, it’s thought that no induvial stars will collide with one another, as the house between the star is so huge in comparison with the precise sizes of the celebs themselves.  

The Andromeda galaxy is 260,000 gentle years throughout (Picture Credit score: Lorenzo Comolli) 

How can we discuss fascinating NGC objects with out together with NGC 1976 or the Orion nebula?  It may be discovered to the south of Orion’s belt and is seen to the bare eye though it should solely seem as a small fuzzy smudge. The Orion Nebula is the closest star forming area to Earth at a not so distant 1300 lightyears away. The nebula is a large stellar nursery composed of fuel and dirt containing lots of of highly regarded younger stars and has given astronomers a higher understanding of star and planetary formation. On the centre of this nebula are 4 brilliant stars known as the Trapezium as a result of they’re organized in a trapezoid sample, radiation from these stars gentle up a lot of the nebula.  The Hubble Area Telescope has taken the sharpest picture ever of the Orion nebula permitting us to peep contained in the cavern of mud and cloud, revealing over three,000 stars of assorted sizes that are shaping the nebula.  

Often known as NGC 1976, Orion Nebula and M51, this nebula is a prolific cradle of star start. (Picture Credit score: NASA) 

This time we’re transferring south to the not so well-known southern constellation of Pavo the peacock the place we’ll discover NGC 6872 also called the Condor Galaxy, which is a large barred spiral galaxy positioned 212 million gentle years from Earth and is believed to be roughly 5 billion years previous. NGC 6872 has the honour of being one of many largest recognized galaxies and subsequently I feel it deserves a worthy point out. The galaxy spans a formidable 522,000 gentle years throughout making it 5 occasions bigger than our Milky Approach and containing anyplace from 500 billion to 2 trillion stars! Additionally know for its uncommon form the Condor Galaxy has two prolonged arms making it one of many most elongated barred galaxies recognized possible a results of its collision with the a lot smaller galaxy IC 4970. NGC 6872 is actually seen with a small telescope though solely seen within the southern hemisphere, and it most unlikely that many people within the Northern hemisphere shall be travelling south anytime quickly!  

The Condor Galaxy. Credit score: NASA

NGC 6872 is location within the constellation of Pavo the Peacock within the Southern hemisphere.  (Picture credit score: Stellarium) 



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