Saturday, 1 October 2016

Enigma: NGC55

This is a large member of the Sculptor Group of galaxies; but what are we seeing? Apparently, an edge-on view, but with the bright core to the W and only a fainter arm to the E? A Gendler image suggests the bright 'cigar' is the central core seen through an outer arm of blue stars. Several small 'knots' are likely OB clusters of activity. A possible stellar central nucleus is arrowed. Reference stars are noted in case we see a super nova! This galaxy is seen well in a 4in 'scope. Is NGC55 a barred spiral with only the E arm visible - the W one hidden from view?


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