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Image of the Week

Image of the Week, March 12, 2018

NGC 660, by Andy Chatman, Mike Selby, and Stefan Schmidt

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Image details

NGC 660 is a peculiar polar ring galaxy somewhere between 26 and 48 million light years from Earth and about 1/3 the size of our own Milky Way Galaxy. As a result of two galaxies merging, the dust lanes have created an “X” pattern.

The very small apparent size of this galaxy (just 2.7 x 0.84 arcminutes), along with its very low surface brightness (magnitude 12) makes this a difficult target even for our 600mm Officina Stellare RiLA telescope. This is the first image from the RiLA after 2 years of optical and mechanical issues have finally been sorted out.

Many other galaxies can be seen in this image. The light was collected over 4 nights from Samphran, Thailand. Image processing was a challenge due to great variations in the background from local light pollution.

Image Credit: The entire gang at SC Observatory (Mike Selby, Stefan Schmidt, Andy Chatman)

About the photographers

Andy Chatman, Mike Selby, and Stefan Schmidt
Location: Thailand
Website, Flickr, Facebook

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