Best of AOP - Galaxies

NGC 488

At an estimated distance of 90 million light years away NGC 488 is an intriguing galaxy despite its distance from us. This galaxy displays subtle and tightly wound blue spiral arms with a yellowish core. Astronomers that have recently observed this galaxy note that the stars in the disk are orbiting the galaxy at a break-neck speed of 360km/s. If this number seems large to you- bear in mind you are orbiting the center of the Milky Way at 220 km/s. By studying the velocity distribution of stars in a galaxy like this astronomers attempt to answer fundamental questions concerning the structure of spiral galaxies. For example, observations of this galaxy confirm that it is the process of star formation (molecular clouds) and not the kinematic motions of stars that determine the spiral appearance of spiral galaxies. Other galaxies similar to NGC 488 include NGC 2841 and NGC 7217.

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Last Updated: 25-Feb-2014

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About This Image

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Equipment

16in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/8.8

Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

LRGB color production was used to create this image.

The AO-7 unit was used to acquire this image.

Two iterations of L-R deconvolution (sharpening) algorithm using CCDsharp were 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 = 120 minutes binned 1x1

Red = 40 minutes binned 2x2

Green = 40 minutes binned 2x2

Blue = 35 minutes binned 2x2

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