Best of AOP - Galaxies

NGC 864

NGC 864 is a barred spiral galaxy in the direction of Cetus. It is estimated to be around 69 million light years away. As a morphological feature, bars in the centers of galaxies indicate a dynamic movement of gas (and stars). While NGC 864 possesses a weak bar- the effects of the structure can be readily seen in the galaxy. The elongated and extremely bright nucleus delineate the bar. When displayed in a non-linear fashion the delicate dust lanes that run along the bar can be discerned. Galactic bars generally stir the interiors of galaxies with flows of gas into and out of the region. Due to their asymmetric concentration of mass, bars can also generate waves of star formation in the outer disk by the oscillatory compression of gas. In the case of NGC 864, the two major arms spring from the ends of the bar. These arms indicate a continual emergence of new star-formation that continues "downstream." A few other barred spirals include: NGC 7479NGC 255NGC 266NGC 1300M58NGC 5964NGC 5921, and many others.

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Last Updated: 26-Feb-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.

One iteration of L-R deconvolution (sharpening) algorithm using CCDsharp was applied to the luminance image.

The 10th magnitude star to the left of the nucleus (bright) was difficult to deal with when processing 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: Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF