A COSMIC ODDITY 90 MILLION LIGHT YEARS AWAY.
Photo By: NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (All links below).
Located some 90 million light years away in the constellation Pisces is this vast galactic vortex imaged by the legendary Hubble Space Telescope. NGC 524 is actually a Lenticular Galaxy, that means it’s neither an Elliptical Galaxy nor a Spiral Galaxy but instead caught in an intermediate state of galactic evolution.
This happens when the vast pinwheel arms of middle-aged Spiral Galaxies have burned through most of their star forming material to a point where that very star formation comes to pass and the bright, thick spiral arms that were once full of stellar life begin to fade away and with it the breakdown of the spiral galaxy begins, leaving in its place a Lenticular Galaxy.
Though still bright, Lenticular Galaxies lack the pinks, blues and reds of star forming regions and instead exude a dull yellow hue, telling of an ancient galaxy full of old red, yellow stars and thin dust lanes no longer able to produce like they once did.
NAME: NGC 524 or UGC 968, PGC 5222.
WHAT IS IT?: Lenticular Galaxy.
HOW FAR AWAY IS IT?: 90 million light years.
HOW BIG IS IT?: Roughly 100,000 light years in diameter and 3.2′ x 3.2′ arcminutes on the night sky.
HOW OLD IS IT?: Unsure.
APPARENT MAGNITUDE?: A very dim 10.4 and a surface brightness of 21.7.
WHERE IS IT? (General): Constellation Pisces.
WHERE IS IT? (Exact RA/DEC J2000): RA 01h 24m 47.8s / DEC +09° 32′ 21″.
ESA Hubble Space Telescope page for NGC 524: http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1329a/
NGC 524 on Jean-Baptiste Faure site: http://jean-baptiste-faure.blogspot.com/2013/07/lenticular-galaxy-ngc-524.html
DSO Browser page for NGC 524: http://dso-browser.com/dso/info/NGC/524