Best of AOP - Galaxies

NGC 1961

NGC 1961 is a problematic galaxy. Its highly disturbed and asymmetric spiral arms would normally indicate an interaction or merger with another galaxy. However, no culprit is found to be the source of NGC 1961's angst. This galaxy is part of a group (of about 10 other smaller galaxies) around 171 million light years away. Given the apparent size and brightness of this galaxy- it must be one of the largest galaxies in our "local" universe. Astronomers have observed this galaxy from X-rays to radio wavelengths of light in order to unravel the mystery of this galaxy's morphology. One recent paper concludes that the shape of the galaxy may be due to its interaction with the gas in the cluster. Most of this galaxy is still producing young and massive stars that live short lives and die violent deaths as supernovae. The most recent explosion in this galaxy was observed in 2001.

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Last Updated: 12-Mar-2014

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About This Image

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20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/8.1

Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

LRGB color production was used to create this image.

Digital Development (DDP) via Maxim/DL was also used in order to display the very dim and very bright details of

the image simultaneously.

Luminance = 90 minutes binned 1x1

Red = 20 minutes binned 2x2

Green = 20 minutes binned 2x2

Blue = 20 minutes binned 2x2

Minimum credit line: Doug Matthews/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF