Latest NGC Stories

2007-05-02 10:21:45

Astronomers have long thought that globular star clusters had a single "baby boom" of stars early in their lives and then settled into a quiet existence. New observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, however, are showing that this idea may be too simple. The Hubble analysis of the massive globular cluster NGC 2808 provides evidence that star birth went "boom, boom, boom," with three generations of stars forming very early in the cluster's life. "We had never imagined that anything like...

2007-05-02 00:00:00

Cambridge, MA - Two rambunctious young stars are destroying their natal dust cloud with powerful jets of radiation, in an infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The stars are located approximately 600 light-years away in a cosmic cloud called BHR 71. "BHR 71 has been a favorite object of mine for years," said Tyler Bourke of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "This spectacular new Spitzer image really shows off the changes in the jets, in ways impossible at other...

2007-04-12 00:25:00

A remarkable eclipse of a supermassive black hole and the hot gas disk around it has been observed with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. This eclipse has allowed two key predictions about the effects of supermassive black holes to be tested. Just as eclipses of the Sun and moon give astronomers rare opportunities to learn about those objects, an alignment in a nearby galaxy has provided a rare opportunity to investigate a supermassive black hole. The supermassive black hole is located in...

2007-04-03 14:55:00

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has delivered an unrivalled snapshot of the nearby barred spiral galaxy NGC 1672. This remarkable image provides a high definition view of the galaxy's large bar, its fields of star-forming clouds and dark bands of interstellar dust. NGC 1672, visible from the southern hemisphere, is seen almost face on and shows regions of intense star formation. The greatest concentrations of star formation are found in the so-called starburst regions near the ends of...

2007-03-29 14:49:18

Astronomers think that there are enormous black holes at the centers of most, if not all, galaxies. These black holes, which can be millions or even billions of times more massive than the Sun, can greatly affect the galaxy and the environments around them. One way such black holes shape their surroundings is by generating powerful jets of high-energy particles. The jets, which are bright in radio waves, have been seen to push around the hot gas that envelopes the galaxy. When this happens,...

2007-02-22 11:20:00

Twenty years ago, astronomers witnessed one of the brightest stellar explosions in more than 400 years. The titanic supernova, called SN 1987A, blazed with the power of 100 million suns for several months following its discovery on Feb. 23, 1987. Observations of SN 1987A, made over the past 20 years by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and many other major ground- and space-based telescopes, have significantly changed astronomers' views of how massive stars end their lives. Astronomers credit...

2007-02-13 13:10:00

A brand new image taken with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 shows the planetary nebula NGC 2440 - the chaotic structure of the demise of a star. This image, just taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows the colourful "last hurrah" of a star like our Sun. The star is ending its life by casting off its outer layers of gas, which formed a cocoon around the star's remaining core. Ultraviolet light from the dying star makes the material glow. The burned-out star, called a white...

2007-01-10 13:15:00

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have found that young stellar nurseries, called open star clusters, have very short lives. Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys gleaned these new observations during a "Where's Waldo" search for blue stars tossed out of their open cluster "nest" in the nearby galaxy known as NGC 1313. Only Hubble has the resolution needed to distinguish individual stars in galaxies at NGC 1313's distance "” about 14 million light-years. Astronomers have...

2006-12-11 14:45:59

The small open star cluster Pismis 24 lies in the core of the large emission nebula NGC 6357 in Sagittarius, about 8,000 light-years away from Earth. Some of the stars in this cluster are extremely massive and emit intense ultraviolet radiation. The brightest object in the picture is designated Pismis 24-1. It was once thought to weigh as much as 200 to 300 solar masses. This would not only have made it by far the most massive known star in the galaxy, but would have put it considerably above...

2006-11-24 09:52:51

VLT Image of Starburst Galaxy NGC 1313 The captivating appearance of this image of the starburst galaxy NGC 1313, taken with the FORS instrument at ESO's Very Large Telescope, belies its inner turmoil. The dense clustering of bright stars and gas in its arms, a sign of an ongoing boom of star births, shows a mere glimpse of the rough times it has seen. Probing ever deeper into the heart of the galaxy, astronomers have revealed many enigmas that continue to defy our understanding. This FORS...

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 'bachelor seal'; a young male seal which is prevented from mating by its herd's older males (mated bulls defending their territory).
This comes from the Russian word for 'bachelors.'