APOD: Sculptor Galaxy NGC 134 (2016 Mar 04)

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APOD: Sculptor Galaxy NGC 134 (2016 Mar 04)

Post by APOD Robot » Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:06 am

Image Sculptor Galaxy NGC 134

Explanation: NGC 134 is probably not the best known spiral galaxy in the constellation Sculptor. Still, the tantalizing island universe is a clearly a telescopic treasure in southern skies. It shares a bright core, clumpy dust lanes, and loosely wrapped spiral arms with spiky foreground stars of the Milky Way and the more diminutive galaxy NGC 131 in this sharp cosmic vista. From a distance of about 60 million light-years, NGC 134 is seen tilted nearly edge-on. It spans some 150,000 light-years, making it even larger than our own Milky Way galaxy. NGC 134's warped disk and faint extensions give the appearance of past gravitational interactions with neighboring galaxies. Like the much closer and brighter Sculptor galaxy NGC 253, tendrils of dust appear to rise from a galactic disk sprinkled with blue star clusters and pinkish star forming regions.

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Ann
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Re: APOD: Sculptor Galaxy NGC 134 (2016 Mar 04)

Post by Ann » Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:33 am

That's an interesting picture of a galaxy that I have never paid attention to before.

The choppy "waves" in the thick dust lane are interesting. They are clearly the remnant of some upheaval. The dust is chaotic, but on the far side of the nucleus we can clearly see a well-formed, thin spiral arm outlined with an unbroken line of regions of star formation. The outer parts of the galaxy are blue and contain clusters of young stars, and there appear to be spiral arms suddenly coming to an abrupt stop. At right two spiral arms appear to cross and cease. Of course, there is also a long tidal tail at right!

Obviously the small galaxy at left has affected the large galaxy.

This is a nice APOD, and as always, I'm very happy to see an RGB image.

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starsurfer
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Re: APOD: Sculptor Galaxy NGC 134 (2016 Mar 04)

Post by starsurfer » Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:21 pm

This is a really lovely image of a fairly neglected southern galaxy! The tidal streams might be the result of past satellite galaxies that might have been cannibalised in the past and consumed by the host galaxy. This is apparently a fairly common part of galactic evolution. The globular cluster M54 in the Milky Way is actually the remnant of a galaxy that has been swallowed by the Milky Way in the past and more tidal streams associated with our galaxy have been discovered in the past 10 years.

If you look carefully at this image, you can see a faint tidal tail to the north.

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Re: APOD: Sculptor Galaxy NGC 134 (2016 Mar 04)

Post by starsurfer » Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:23 pm

Ann wrote: This is a nice APOD, and as always, I'm very happy to see an RGB image.

Ann
Technically it's a LRGB image. :D

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Re: APOD: Sculptor Galaxy NGC 134 (2016 Mar 04)

Post by Fred the Cat » Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:16 pm

In the first link to the constellation Sculptor there is an image of R Scuptoris. R Scuptoris is an interesting sight.

It almost looks like it could be a planetary nebula in the early period of its formation. If it does have a companion it would surely be affecting the shedding of its outer shell. :?: Is there any chance that could explain some of the spiral formation?
Last edited by Fred the Cat on Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ann
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Re: APOD: Sculptor Galaxy NGC 134 (2016 Mar 04)

Post by Ann » Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:22 pm

starsurfer wrote:
Ann wrote: This is a nice APOD, and as always, I'm very happy to see an RGB image.

Ann
Technically it's a LRGB image. :D
Point taken! :mrgreen:

Ann
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Re: APOD: Sculptor Galaxy NGC 134 (2016 Mar 04)

Post by Ann » Fri Mar 04, 2016 6:01 pm

Okay, I finally checked out the colors of NGC 134. It is a relatively red galaxy, both when it comes to B-V and U-B, as expected. It is, however, considerably bluer than the Andromeda Galaxy. And fascinatingly, while M31 is more than a magnitude fainter in the far infrared than in blue light in spite of its nearly edge-on orientation, testifying to its low levels of dust, NGC 134 is one and a half magnitude brighter in the far infrared than in blue light. Indeed, NGC 134 is a quite dusty galaxy, probably ripe for many more rounds of star formation - unless those choppy waves of dust are too hot and turbulent to settle down into the cool dark molecular clouds that are (usually) necessary for star formation.

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Re: APOD: Sculptor Galaxy NGC 134 (2016 Mar 04)

Post by pferkul » Fri Mar 04, 2016 7:51 pm

Here is a slightly enhanced version with some of the intervening stars removed:
NGC134_filtered.jpg
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Re: APOD: Sculptor Galaxy NGC 134 (2016 Mar 04)

Post by Tekija » Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:53 pm

This galaxy had a fairly recent supernova, namely 2009gj.

https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3614/3677 ... cf37_b.jpg