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Ursa Astronomical Association
Kopernikuksentie 1
00130 Helsinki

Ursa Astronomical Association

NGC 253 - 16.9.2020 at 00.00 - 16.9.2020 at 00.00 Río Hurtado, Chile Observation number 94574

Visibility IV / V

Jari Saukkonen, Kirkkonummen komeetta

The sculptor’s galaxy is one of the brightest and largest galaxies in the southern starry sky. It’s a so-called starburst galaxy, where an exceptional number of new stars are created. Evidence of this is the numerous areas of hydrogen that glow pink. The burst may have originated as a result of an ancient galaxy encounter, which has also been caused by tidal forces to twist the galaxy’s halo. Nearby you will find a very dim companion, the dwarf galaxy NGC253-dw2 (picture #3) which was only discovered in the 2010s by amateurs.

The sculptor’s galaxy is located almost perpendicularly above the Milky Way disk, so the view also offers a glimpse into the distance. Many of the orange-red dots visible in the background are distant galaxies whose speed of fading makes them appear reddish.

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Additional information
  • Observation target
    • Deep space object
  • Designation
    • NGC 253
    • Näyttävä
  • Constellation
    • Sculptor
  • Darkness
    • Excellent
  • Galaxies
    • Spiral galaxy info

      Spiral galaxy is a stellar system where there are outwards arched spiral arms from roundish (spiral galaxies) or bar-shaped (barred spiral galaxies) central condensation.

      The apparent shape of spiral galaxied depends on out observation direction. From above they are quite round. From the side they lens-shaped with a bulge in the middle.

      Generally a rather large instrument, good weather conditions and observational expereince are needed to see spiral arms. Usually spiral galaxies look like a fuzzy spots.

      Spiral galaxy M33 in Triangulum. Image Tero Turunen.


      Andromeda Galaxy M31. There are also galaxies M110 (upper right corner) and M32 (lower left corner) in this image. Image Pekka Peura.

      M101 aka Pinwheel Galaxy in Ursa Major. Image Samuli Vuorinen.


      Spiral galaxy IC 342 aka Hidden Galaxy in Camelopardalis. Image Timo Inkinen.

      A sketch of spiral galaxy NGC 7331 in Pegasus. Image Juha Ojanperä.

Technical information

Self-built 10 "f / 3.8 Newton telescope, camera ASI6200, tripod 10Micron GM1000HPS. Exposures with Chroma LRGB filters for a total of 15h.

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