BARNARDS GALAXY; A MEMBER OF THE EXCLUSIVE LOCAL GROUP
Image Credit & Copyright: European Southern Observatory (ESO). CLICK image for larger view and look below for information and links.
Beyond the rich star fields of the Milky Way you will find Barnard’s Galaxy, a beautiful dwarf elliptical galaxy 1.6 million light years away in the constellation Sagittarius “The Archer.” Barnard’s Galaxy is also cataloged as NGC 6822 but as it was discovered by Edward Emerson Barnard on August 17, 1884 you will more often than not, hear it by that name.
This image was captured by the 2.2-metre MPG/ESO telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in northern Chile and it shows the beautiful hive-like structure to this 7000 light year long structure. In addition to the thousands of bright blue stars that make up the mass of the galaxy, you can see the telltale signs of bright pink star forming regions where new stars are still being born and fusing into life. NGC 6822 is very much like the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) in its size and composition.
NAME: NGC 6822, Caldwell 57, IC 4895 or Barnard’s Galaxy.
WHAT IS IT?: Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy.
HOW FAR AWAY IS IT?: 1.6 million light years.
HOW BIG IS IT?: Roughly 15” x 15” arcseconds on the night sky and about 7000 light years in diameter.
APPARENT MAGNITUDE?: 9.3 or +9.3.
WHERE IS IT? (General): Constellation Sagittarius “The Archer.”
WHERE IS IT? (Exact RA/DEC J2000): RA 19h 44m 56.6s / DEC −14° 47′ 21″.
European Southern Observatory (ESO) page for this image: http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso0938a/