Best of AOP - Galaxies

NGC 4051

NGC 4051 is a very well-studied galaxy. The astronomical literature catalogues this object with no less than 32 names! The names come from the many observations ranging from infrared to X-ray wavelengths of light. This galaxy is classified as a Seyfert type which means its nuclear region produces large amounts of energy and can vary on short timescales (weeks to months). Radio observations of this galaxy show a jet of material being ejected toward us (not unlike the starburst galaxy M82). One astronomical paper suggests that the reason for this activity could be due to the gravitation interaction of the nearby neighbor NGC 4013. Galaxies like NGC 4051 with such active galactic nuclei (AGN) might be today's version of the most luminous galaxies the universe ever created. During the early epoch of the universe's evolution, many super-luminous galaxies were to be found. We still see these monster AGN galaxies as quasars across the vast distances (and times) of the cosmos.

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Last Updated: 28-Mar-2014

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About This Image

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20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/5.5

Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

LRGB color production was used to create this image.

Imaged at f/5.5 due to the unavailability of guide stars at f/8.1.

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 = 80 minutes binned 1x1

Red = 20 minutes binned 2x2

Green = 20 minutes binned 2x2

Blue = 20 minutes binned 2x2

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