Hickson Compact Group

A Hickson Compact Group (abbreviation: HCG) is a collection of galaxies designated as published by Paul Hickson in 1982.[2]

The most famous group on Hickson’s list of 100 objects is HCG 92, Stephan's Quintet.

Hickson Compact Group
Alternative namesHickson Galaxy Groups
Hickson Compact Group 7 image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. This grouping is composed of one lenticular (lens-shaped) and three spiral galaxies in close proximity.[1]

Hickson Compact Groups

According to Hickson: “Most compact groups contain a high fraction of galaxies having morphological or kinematical peculiarities, nuclear radio and infrared emission, and starburst or active galactic nuclei (AGN) activity. They contain large quantities of diffuse gas and are dynamically dominated by dark matter. They most likely form as subsystems within looser associations and evolve by gravitational processes. Strong galaxy interactions result and merging is expected to lead to the ultimate demise of the group. Compact groups are surprisingly numerous, and may play a significant role in galaxy evolution.”[3]


Hickson1 BN
galaxy cluster Hickson 1


A fossil in the making

NGC 201 is a barred spiral galaxy similar to the Milky Way, a member of HCG 7[8]

Hickson Compact Group 59

Hickson Compact Group 59 by Hubble Space Telescope

Hickson Compact Group 31

HCG 31


The four members of HCG 44 by Hunter Wilson

Further reading

  • Paul Hickson (15 April 1982). "Systematic properties of compact groups of galaxies". Astrophysical Journal, Part 1. 255: 382–391. Bibcode:1982ApJ...255..382H. doi:10.1086/159838.
  • Paul Hickson (25 October 1997). "Compact Groups of Galaxies". Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics. 35: 357–388. arXiv:astro-ph/9710289. Bibcode:1997ARA&A..35..357H. doi:10.1146/annurev.astro.35.1.357.

See also


  1. ^ "Crowded, but Suspiciously Quiet?". Picture of the Week. ESA/Hubble. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  2. ^ Hickson, Paul (1982). "Systematic properties of compact groups of galaxies". Astrophysical Journal. 255: 382–391. Bibcode:1982ApJ...255..382H. doi:10.1086/159838.
  3. ^ "Compact Groups of Galaxies". Retrieved 2006-10-23.
  4. ^ a b "HCG". SIMBAD. Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  5. ^ Hickson, P. (1982). "Systematic properties of compact groups of galaxies". Astrophysical Journal. 255: Part 1, 382–391. Bibcode:1982ApJ...255..382H. doi:10.1086/159838.
  6. ^ "Anne's Picture of the Day: Hickson Compact Group 7". Anne's Astronomy News. 27 December 2012.
  7. ^ "Hubble views a bizarre cosmic quartet". Space Daily. 22 June 2015.
  8. ^ "A fossil in the making". ESA/Hubble Picture of the Week. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  9. ^ "A members-only galaxy club". ESA/Hubble Picture of the Week. Retrieved 10 December 2013.

External links

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