|Galaxy NGC 253 in Sculptor
Galaxy NGC 253 would surely have been included in Messier's Catalog had it not been so low in the southern sky. Its glory has been
recognized in the more recent Caldwell Catalog, as entry number 65. At a distance of about 10 million light-years, NGC 253 is the
brightest galaxy outside of our Local Group of Galaxies, belonging to the Sculptor Group of Galaxies. This spiral galaxy is tipped steeply
to our line of sight, concealing its spiral arms. Caroline Herschel, sister of the more famous William Herschel, discovered this object in
The image above was obtained with 130 minutes red, and 80 minutes each of blue and green exposures, spread over three nights
because of the low position of the galaxy in the sky, limiting exposures each night. An ST2000XCM was used unbinned through a TEC
140 mm refractor.
This image below was taken 3 years earlier, and combined 30 minutes luminance exposures using the IDAS filter with 10 minutes of
green and red and 25 minutes of blue exposures. My exposure times were limited by the galaxies low position in the southern skies, just
skimming the tops of distant trees. An ST10XME camera was used through a TEC 140mm refractor at my observatory.
Music: Daydream Believer, by the Monkees