The Blinking Galaxy

NGC 6118, a grand-design spiral galaxy, shines bright in this image, displaying its central bar and tight spiral arms from its home in the constellation of Serpens (The Snake). The galaxy is sometimes known to amateur astronomers as the “Blinking Galaxy” because this relatively faint, fuzzy object would appear to flick into existence when viewed through their telescopes in a certain orientation, and then suddenly disappear again as the eye position shifted. The brilliant blue star-forming regions of the galaxy, where hot young stars are born, are beautifully illuminated, even from over 80 million light-years away. In 2004, regular observers of this galaxy saw a “new star” appear near the edge of the galaxy (above the centre of the image). Far from being a new star, this object, supernova 2004dk, is in fact the final, powerful burst of light emitted by the explosion of a star.

Though shy to lesser telescopes, the galaxy cannot hide from ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Cerro Paranal, Chile. The image was obtained using the VIsible MultiObject Spectrograph (VIMOS) at the VLT.

Crédit:

ESO

À propos de l'image

Identification:potw1022a
Type:Observation
Date de publication:31 mai 2010 10:00
Taille:1902 x 1517 px

À propos de l'objet

Nom:NGC 6118
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
Distance:80 million années lumière
Constellation:Serpens Caput
Catégorie:Galaxies

Formats des images

Grand JPEG
539,5 Kio
JPEG taille écran
130,0 Kio

Zoomable


Fonds d'écran

1024x768
151,4 Kio
1280x1024
247,3 Kio
1600x1200
371,7 Kio
1920x1200
421,7 Kio
2048x1536
564,2 Kio

Coordinates

Position (RA):16 21 48.62
Position (Dec):-2° 16' 59.29"
Field of view:6.53 x 5.21 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 180.0° left of vertical

Couleurs & filtres

DomaineLongueur d'ondeTélescope
Visible
B
445 nmVery Large Telescope
VIMOS
Visible
V
551 nmVery Large Telescope
VIMOS
Visible
R
658 nmVery Large Telescope
VIMOS

 

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