2006-09-16

Stephen's Quintet -- Arp Peculiar Galaxy # 319




Stephen's Quintet is another very tough challenge to find and photograph.

The quintet is a prototype of a class of objects known as compact groups of galaxies and has been studied intensively for decades.

As its name implies this is a group of five galaxies (NGC7317, 7318A, 7318B, 7319 and 7320) and lies about 270 million light-years away in the constellation of Pegasus (North-west of the Great Square of Pegasus).

The galaxy group discovered by the French astronomer Edouard Stephan in 1877, using the Foucault 80-cm reflector at the Marseilles Observatory -- and it was the first such grouping to be found. Today we know of hundreds of similar groupings, but few are as spectacular as Stephan's Quintet.


Observation notes:
2006 September 16, 19 hours 37 minutes local time.
Sky -- excellent. 4 out of 5. Dark sky.
5 minute exposure on 3 megapixel CCD.
14 inch Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope with 3910mm focal length.

1 comment:

lmg said...

In what movie did Stephen's Quintet appear in a speaking role?