Best of AOP - Galaxies

NGC 3718

What a strange galaxy. There is not much information about this galaxy in the astronomical literature. This is a lenticular galaxy. It is probably part of the M81 group of galaxies. The ethereal glow from this galaxy is testament to the paucity of stars. These galaxies have a disk like a spiral galaxy but with no spiral arms, and little gas and dust. Notice how easy it is to see the very heart of this galaxy with its yellow nuclear beacon. The gossamer wreathe of dust that encircles the disk is the most interesting part of this galaxy. Also note the very compact group of galaxies on the lower left side of the image.

The compact group of galaxies is not physically associated with NGC 3718, as they are more than 300 million light years distant. The rather tortured looking galaxy at the bottom right of the group is called UGC 6527. Due to the strong gravitational interactions between these galaxies, massive star formation is taking place in each. In fact UGC 6527 is a Seyfert galaxy that emits radio wavelengths of light. This group of five is reminiscent of others well known examples such as Stephan's Quintet and NGC 6027.

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Last Updated: 28-Mar-2014

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About This Image

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Equipment

16in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/8.4

Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

LRGB color production was used to create this image.

One iteration of L-R deconvolution (sharpening) algorithm using CCDsharp was applied to the luminance 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 = 150 minutes binned 1x1

Red = 30 minutes binned 2x2

Green = 30 minutes binned 2x2

Blue = 40 minutes binned 2x2

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