Latest NGC Stories

2008-12-16 08:25:00

The festive season has arrived for astronomers at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in the form of this dramatic new image. It shows the swirling gas around the region known as NGC 2264 "” an area of sky that includes the sparkling blue baubles of the Christmas Tree star cluster. NGC 2264 lies about 2600 light-years from Earth in the obscure constellation of Monoceros, the Unicorn, not far from the more familiar figure of Orion, the Hunter. The image shows a region of space about...

2008-11-20 09:25:00

Astronomers have long puzzled over why a small, nearby, isolated galaxy is pumping out new stars faster than any galaxy in our local neighborhood. Now NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has helped astronomers solve the mystery of the loner starburst galaxy, called NGC 1569, by showing that it is one and a half times farther away than astronomers thought. The extra distance places the galaxy in the middle of a group of about 10 galaxies centered on the spiral galaxy IC 342. Gravitational...

2008-08-20 13:45:00

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has found an answer to a long-standing puzzle by resolving giant but delicate filaments shaped by a strong magnetic field around the active galaxy NGC 1275. It is the most striking example of the influence of the immense tentacles of extragalactic magnetic fields, say researchers. One of the closest giant elliptical galaxies, NGC 1275 hosts a supermassive black hole. Energetic activity of gas swirling near the black hole blows bubbles of material into the...

2008-08-11 08:20:00

In commemoration of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope completing its 100,000th orbit in its 18th year of exploration and discovery, scientists at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., have aimed Hubble to take a snapshot of a dazzling region of celestial birth and renewal. Hubble peered into a small portion of the nebula near the star cluster NGC 2074 (upper, left). The region is a firestorm of raw stellar creation, perhaps triggered by a nearby supernova explosion. It lies...

2008-07-24 16:10:00

A European-led team of astronomers are providing hints that a recent supernova may not be as normal as initially thought. Instead, the star that exploded is now understood to have collapsed into a black hole, producing a weak jet, typical of much more violent events, the so-called gamma-ray bursts. The object, SN 2008D, is thus probably among the weakest explosions that produce very fast moving jets. This discovery represents a crucial milestone in the understanding of the most violent...

2008-07-16 15:20:00

How do you weigh the biggest black holes in the universe? One answer now comes from a completely new and independent technique that astronomers have developed using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. By measuring a peak in the temperature of hot gas in the center of the giant elliptical galaxy NGC 4649, scientists have determined the mass of the galaxy's supermassive black hole. The method, applied for the first time, gives results that are consistent with a traditional technique....

2008-07-10 08:00:00

Imagine having three clocks in your house, each chiming at a different time. Astronomers have found the equivalent of three out-of-sync "clocks" in the ancient open star cluster NGC 6791. The dilemma may fundamentally challenge the way astronomers estimate cluster ages, researchers said. Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to study the dimmest stars in the cluster, astronomers uncovered three different age groups. Two of the populations are burned-out stars called white dwarfs. One group of...

2008-07-10 12:00:00

WASHINGTON, July 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On July 17, 1918, Bolshevik revolutionaries gunned down Russia's Tsar Nicholas II and his family in a Siberian home. But the events of that night have remained shrouded in mystery and controversy. Rumors persisted that some in the family might have escaped, including the tsar's youngest daughter, Grand Duchess Anastasia, her sister Grand Duchess Maria and their brother Crown Prince Alexei, the 13-year-old heir to the throne. In 1991, the...

2008-05-28 01:00:00

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Very Large Telescope's First Light, ESO is releasing two stunning images of different kinds of nebulae, located towards the Carina constellation. The first one, Eta Carinae, has the shape of a 'little man' and surrounds a star doomed to explode within the next 100 000 years. The second image features a much larger nebula, whose internal turmoil is created by a cluster of young, massive stars.Being brighter than one million Suns, Eta Carinae is...

2008-05-21 12:50:00

Thanks to a fortunate observation with NASA's Swift satellite, astronomers, for the first time, have caught a normal supernova at the moment of its birth--the first instant when an exploding star begins spewing its energy into space, transforming into a supernova that during its brief lifetime will shine brighter than billions of stars combined. Until this discovery, the only supernovae glimpsed during their first moments were the more rare kind--the ones whose birth cries are drowned out by...

Latest NGC Reference Libraries

2010-09-16 15:00:46

The NGC 5866, located in the Draco constellation, is named after the galaxy with the highest magnitude however some catalogs list NGC 5907 as the brightest member. The M51 Group and the M101 Group are NGC 5866 closest neighbor. The distances between these groups are similar which suggest the three groups are part of a single large, loose, elongated group. However, most identification methods consider them separate.

2010-09-13 17:09:55

The M81 Group, containing the well known galaxies Messier 81 and Messier 82, is a group of galaxies within the constellation Ursa Major. Along with Messier 81 and 82 are several other galaxies with apparent brightness. The center, located at an approximate distance of 3.6 Mpc, is one of the nearest groups to the Local Group. The total estimated mass of the group is (1.03 ± 0.17) × 1012M☉. The Virgo Supercluster contains the M81 Group, the Local Group, and some other nearby...

2010-09-13 17:07:12

The M51 Group, located in Canes Venatici, is named after the brightest galaxy in the group, the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51A). The few other notable members include the companion galaxy to the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51B) and the Sunflower Galaxy (M63).

2010-09-13 16:56:08

The Coma Cluster (Abell 1656), along with the Leo Cluster, is one of two major clusters compromising the Coma Supercluster. It contains over 1000 identified galaxies. Most of the galaxies in the center of the Coma Cluster are elliptical galaxies including both dwarf and giant. However the center is dominated by NGC 4874 and NGC 4889, two giant elliptical galaxies. The brightest galaxies are visible, a few degrees north of the galactic pole, with an amateur telescope larger than 20 cm. The...

2010-09-13 16:27:55

Stephan's Quintet in the constellation Pegasus is a visual grouping of five galaxies which four form the first compact galaxy group ever discovered. The group was discovered by Édouard Stephan in 1877 at Marseilles Observatory and is the most studied of all the compact galaxy groups. NGC 7320, which has extensive H II regions, is the brightest member of the visual grouping and is where active star formation is occurring. Hickson Compact Group 92, which contains four of the five...

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Word of the Day
  • A large punch-bowl of the eighteenth century, usually of silver and with a movable rim, and decorated with flutings and a scalloped edge. It was also used for cooling and carrying wine-glasses.
  • A kind of cotton handkerchief having white spots on a colored ground, the spots being produced by a chemical which discharges the color.
This word is possibly named after Monteith (Monteigh), 'an eccentric 17th-century Scotsman who wore a cloak scalloped at the hem.'