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Dimensions3000 x 3025
Original file size2.45 MB
Image typeJPEG
Draco Trio

Draco Trio

SBIG ST-4000XCM
24x600sec
Imager Temp -20C
Celestron 9.25 Reduced 0.63
40% Crop

Sky and Telescope Editor's Choice May 20, 2009

A beautiful, if faint, trio in the constellation Draco is comprised of from left to right, face on spiral NGC 5985, elliptical galaxy NGC 5982, and edge-on spiral NGC 5981. Distance from earth is about 100 million light years.

NGC5985 is considered an active or 'Seyfert' galaxy. Some galaxies, notably the Seyferts, show large quantities of gas in their nuclei which is not associated with O or B stars. Their nuclei are called Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN's); the galaxies are sometimes called Active Galaxies. While making up the biggest portion, Seyferts are not the only galaxies with AGNs: Other examples are the radio galaxies and the quasars. They all have in common that their high luminosity is not produced by stars. Seyfert galaxies are characterized by extremely bright nuclei believed to be secondary to an accretion disk and jet caused by rapid rotation around a black hole. Seyfert galaxies show strong emission in the radio, infrared, ultraviolet, and x-ray. The radio emission is believed to be synchrotron emission from the jet.

A number of fainter, more distant galaxies can be seen in this image as well.

May 17, 2009