APOD: In the Center of Spiral Galaxy NGC 3521 (2015 Nov 30)

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APOD Robot
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APOD: In the Center of Spiral Galaxy NGC 3521 (2015 Nov 30)

Post by APOD Robot » Mon Nov 30, 2015 5:09 am

Image In the Center of Spiral Galaxy NGC 3521

Explanation: This huge swirling mass of stars, gas, and dust occurs near the center of a nearby spiral galaxy. Gorgeous spiral NGC 3521 is a mere 35 million light-years distant, toward the constellation Leo. Spanning some 50,000 light-years, its central region is shown in this dramatic image, constructed from data from the Hubble Space Telescope. The close-up view highlights this galaxy's characteristic multiple, patchy, irregular spiral arms laced with dust and clusters of young, blue stars. In contrast, many other spirals exhibit grand, sweeping arms. A relatively bright galaxy in planet Earth's sky, NGC 3521 is easily visible in small telescopes, but often overlooked by amateur imagers in favor of other Leo spiral galaxies, like M65 and M66.

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Ann
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Re: APOD: In the Center of Spiral Galaxy NGC 3521 (2015 Nov 30)

Post by Ann » Mon Nov 30, 2015 6:41 am

A Hubble closeup of the central region of any galaxy is always very valuable. I'm always very grateful for every galaxy portrait made by Hubble.

If there is a future core-collapse supernova in the central parts of NGC 3521, this Hubble picture may show the progenitor of that supernova.

Today's APOD shows the chaotic distribution of dust in the inner regions of NGC 3521. This makes NGC 3521 a so-called flocculent galaxy. The closeup of this chaotic dust is also valuable.
NGC 3521. Photo: R Jay GaBany, David Martinez-Delgado et al.
In the case of NGC 3521, the outer regions of it, which can't be seen in the Hubble image, are very interesting. In the picture by R Jay GaBany at left, note the billowing yellow halo "above and below" the bulge of NGC 3521. This yellow halo is made up of possibly billions of mostly small red dwarf stars. Extremely few spiral galaxies have this sort of bright and chaotic yellow halo. Note at the edge of the disk at right the billowing clouds of old to intermediate stars, which are less yellow in color. There is also a corresponding "smoke ring" of stars at the left edge of the disk. Also there are several large shells surrounding NGC 3521. This galaxy has undergone a major event of disturbance.
NGC 4414. Photo: Adam Block.








Fascinatingly, another well-known flocculent galaxy (and another Hubble poster child), NGC 4414, turns out to sit in the middle of several huge shells.

Personally I have to wonder if the flocculent inner structure has anything to do with the large outer shells. Another flocculent galaxy with the same kind of large outer shell is NGC 2775. Check out this page by Adam Block to see it.

Ann
Last edited by Ann on Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: In the Center of Spiral Galaxy NGC 3521 (2015 Nov 30)

Post by Boomer12k » Mon Nov 30, 2015 6:49 am

Must be a lot of beds over there with dust under them....

Thanks to Ann for the lesson...it would appear that galaxies are " bigger" than they appear to be,...

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Last edited by Boomer12k on Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

heehaw

Re: APOD: In the Center of Spiral Galaxy NGC 3521 (2015 Nov 30)

Post by heehaw » Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:54 am

The central Black Hole is 9.7 billion solar masses. Our own pathetic BH is a mere 4 million (not billion!) solar masses!

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Re: APOD: In the Center of Spiral Galaxy NGC 3521 (2015 Nov 30)

Post by starsurfer » Mon Nov 30, 2015 6:38 pm

APOD Robot wrote:but often overlooked by amateur imagers in favor of other Leo spiral galaxies
There are a lot of very interesting and peculiar galaxies in Leo that receive very little attention!! Some of these include NGC 3447 and NGC 3801 as well as the glorious galaxy cluster Abell 1367 and the galaxy group Copeland's Septet.

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Re: APOD: In the Center of Spiral Galaxy NGC 3521 (2015 Nov 30)

Post by neufer » Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:23 pm

heehaw wrote:
The central Black Hole is 9.7 billion solar masses. Our own pathetic BH is a mere 4 million (not billion!) solar masses!
  • You must have NGC 3521 confused with two other more distant galaxies:
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-16034045 wrote:
Team sees biggest black holes yet
By Paul Rincon Science editor, BBC News Website
5 December 2011

<<Nicholas J McConnell from the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues report that NGC 3842 has a mass of 9.7 billion solar masses and that a black hole of comparable or greater mass is present in NGC 4889.

Indications that such big black holes must have existed came from observations of the powerful galactic light sources known as quasars. Measurements of quasars from the early Universe showed that some must be powered by black holes with masses of about 10 billion solar masses. "These objects probably represent the missing dormant relics of the giant black holes that powered the brightest quasars in the early Universe," Michele Cappellari, from the University of Oxford, wrote in an accompanying viewpoint article in Nature.>>
Art Neuendorffer