BEAUTIFUL STAR CITY NGC 3810
Photo Credit: NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. CLICK photo for larger view and see below for information and links.
Discovered on March 15, 1784 by William Herschel, NGC 3810 displays a picture perfect face-on classical spiral structure. Located about 50 million light years distant in the constellation Leo (the lion) this structure spans just about 60,000 light years across. In this Hubble Space Telescope photo you can see vast spiral arms overlaid with an expansive web of gas and dust. Still easily seen is the blue color of stars within the spiral arms but very few pockets of pink star formation. Even the blue hue to the stars lacks the big, bright blue signs of young stars. It’s believed that the supermassive black hole at its nucleus has disrupted the gas and dust and slowed star formation dramatically over the past 500 million years or so and it’s become apparent that the galaxy had entered into middle age.
NGC 3810 has been home to some recent supernovae; SN 2000ex in November 2000 as well as SN 1997dq in November of 1997.
NAME: NGC 3810.
WHAT IS IT?: Spiral Galaxy.
HOW FAR AWAY IS IT?: 50 million light years.
HOW BIG IS IT?: Approximately 60,000 light years in diameter and 4’x3’ arcminutes on the night sky.
APPARENT MAGNITUDE?: About 11 or +11.
WHERE IS IT? (General): Constellation Leo (the lion).
WHERE IS IT? (Exact RA/DEC J2000): RA 11h 40m 59s / DEC +11° 28′ 16″.
ESA Spacetelescope page for this photo: http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1006a/
SIMBAD data page for this object: http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad/sim-id?Ident=NGC+3810
NGC catalog page with NGC 3810: http://cseligman.com/text/atlas/ngc38.htm