Best of AOP - Galaxies

NGC 1058

At a distance of 23 million light years away, NGC 1058 is most likely an intrinsically small spiral galaxy. However the host of bright blue and pink regions shows that this galaxy is actively forming stars. NGC 1058 also harbors a bit of a mystery. This galaxy has had several supernovae go off in the past. However, the nature of the explosion that was observed in 1961 (SN1961 V) is still a bit of a mystery even today. When stars explode they leave behind violently expanding shells of gas. NGC 1058 is close enough to us that telescopes like HST and the VLBA can resolve stars and small features in this galaxy; however there does not seem to be a good candidate for the explosion, but there is a star near to the position. In addition there is an expanding shell of gas as measured by the radio data. So astronomers seemed to have settled on the idea of a supernova explosion- but recent papers on the subject suggest that this object "should be monitored photometrically and spectroscopically for variability in order to understand its nature and relationship to SN1961 V." For the truly interested, the position of the area of interest is at about 4 O'clock- horizontal to the bright star (with a close companion) to the right.

Close inspection of this image reveals many HII regions that seem to be floating freely outside the bright portion of the disk. I suspect that there are even dimmer spiral arms surrounding the galaxy- but only the brightest parts can be seen in this image.

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Last Updated: 26-Feb-2014

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About This Image

Click on image for larger version.


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.

An average FWHM of 1.2" makes this an extremely hi-resolution image of this galaxy.

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 = 20 minutes binned 2x2

Green = 20 minutes binned 2x2

Blue = 20 minutes binned 2x2

Minimum credit line: Bob Ferguson and Richard Desruisseau/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF