Messier 108

Messier 108 (also known as NGC 3556) is a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Ursa Major. It was discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1781 or 1782.[5] From the perspective of the Earth, this galaxy is seen almost edge-on.

This galaxy is an isolated[3] member of the Ursa Major Cluster of galaxies in the Virgo supercluster. It has a morphological classification of type SBbc in the de Vaucouleurs system, which means it is a barred spiral galaxy with somewhat loosely wound arms. The maximum angular size of the galaxy in the optical band is 11′.1 × 4′.6, and it is inclined 75° to the line of sight.[4]

This galaxy has an estimated mass of 125 billion times the mass of the Sun and includes about 290 ± 80 globular clusters.[6] Examination of the distribution of neutral hydrogen in this galaxy shows shells of expanding gas extending for several kiloparsecs, known as H1 supershells. These may be driven by bursts of star formation activity, resulting in supernovae explosions. Alternatively they may result from an infall of gas from outside the galaxy or by radio jets.[7]

Observations with the Chandra X-ray Observatory have identified 83 X-ray sources, including a source located at the nucleus. The brightest of these sources may be an intermediate-mass black hole that is accreting matter. The galaxy is also emitting a diffuse soft X-ray radiation within 10 kpc of the optical galaxy.[3] The spectrum of the X-ray source at the core is consistent with an active galactic nucleus, but an examination with the Spitzer Space Telescope shows no indication of activity. The supermassive black hole at the core has an estimated mass equal to 24 million times the mass of the Sun.[8]

Messier 108
Messier108 - SDSS DR 14 (panorama)
A Sloan Digital Sky Survey image of M108.
Observation data (J2000 epoch)
ConstellationUrsa Major[1]
Right ascension 11h 11m 31.0s[2]
Declination+55° 40′ 27″[2]
Redshift699 ± 9 km/s[2]
Distance14.1 Mpc[3]
Apparent magnitude (V)10.7[2]
Apparent size (V)8′.7 × 2′.2[2]
Other designations
NGC 3556,[2] PGC 34030,[2] UGC 6225[2]

See also


  1. ^ R. W. Sinnott, ed. (1988). The Complete New General Catalogue and Index Catalogue of Nebulae and Star Clusters by J. L. E. Dreyer. Sky Publishing Corporation/Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-933346-51-2.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database". Results for NGC 3556. Retrieved 2007-06-21.
  3. ^ a b c Wang, Q. Daniel; et al. (2003). "Chandra Observation of the Edge-on Galaxy NGC 3556 (M 108): Violent Galactic Disk-halo Interaction Revealed". The Astrophysical Journal. 598 (2): 969–981. arXiv:astro-ph/0308150. Bibcode:2003ApJ...598..969W. doi:10.1086/379010.
  4. ^ a b Tully, R. B.; Fisher, J. R. (1977). "A new method of determining distances to galaxies". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 54 (3): 661–673. Bibcode:1977A&A....54..661T.
  5. ^ Kepple, George Robert; Glen W. Sanner (1998). The Night Sky Observer's Guide. Vol. 2. Willmann-Bell. p. 399. ISBN 978-0-943396-60-6.
  6. ^ Rhode, Katherine L.; et al. (2007). "Global Properties of the Globular Cluster Systems of Four Spiral Galaxies". Astronomical Journal. 134 (4): 1403–1418. arXiv:0708.1166. Bibcode:2007AJ....134.1403R. doi:10.1086/521397.
  7. ^ Gopal-Krishna; Irwin, Judith A. (2000). "Radio jet-blown neutral hydrogen supershells in spiral galaxies?". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 361: 888–894. arXiv:astro-ph/0008251. Bibcode:2000A&A...361..888G.
  8. ^ Satyapal, S.; et al. (2008). "Spitzer Uncovers Active Galactic Nuclei Missed by Optical Surveys in Seven Late-Type Galaxies". Astrophysical Journal. 677 (2): 926–942. arXiv:0801.2759. Bibcode:2008ApJ...677..926S. doi:10.1086/529014.

External links

Coordinates: Sky map 11h 11m 31.0s, +55° 40′ 27″


41P/Tuttle–Giacobini–Kresák is a periodic comet in the Solar System. The comet nucleus is estimated to be 1.4 kilometers in diameter.Discovered by Horace Parnell Tuttle on May 3, 1858, and re-discovered independently by Michel Giacobini and Ľubor Kresák in 1907 and 1951 respectively, it is a member of the Jupiter family of comets.

Barred spiral galaxy

A barred spiral galaxy is a spiral galaxy with a central bar-shaped structure composed of stars. Bars are found in between one third and two thirds of all spiral galaxies. Bars generally affect both the motions of stars and interstellar gas within spiral galaxies and can affect spiral arms as well. The Milky Way Galaxy, where our own Solar System is located, is classified as a barred spiral galaxy.Edwin Hubble classified spiral galaxies of this type as "SB" (spiral, barred) in his Hubble sequence and arranged them into sub-categories based on how open the arms of the spiral are. SBa types feature tightly bound arms, while SBc types are at the other extreme and have loosely bound arms. SBb-type galaxies lie in between the two. SB0 is a barred lenticular galaxy. A new type, SBm, was subsequently created to describe somewhat irregular barred spirals, such as the Magellanic Clouds, which were once classified as irregular galaxies, but have since been found to contain barred spiral structures. Among other types in Hubble's classifications for the galaxies are the spiral galaxy, elliptical galaxy and irregular galaxy.

List of NGC objects (3001–4000)

This is a list of NGC objects 3001–4000 from the New General Catalogue (NGC). The astronomical catalogue is composed mainly of star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. Other objects in the catalogue can be found in the other subpages of the list of NGC objects.

The constellation information in these tables is taken from The Complete New General Catalogue and Index Catalogue of Nebulae and Star Clusters by J. L. E. Dreyer, which was accessed using the "VizieR Service". Galaxy types are identified using the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database. The other data of these tables are from the SIMBAD Astronomical Database unless otherwise stated.

List of most massive black holes

This is an ordered list of the most massive black holes so far discovered (and probable candidates), measured in units of solar masses (M☉), or the mass of the Sun (approx. 2×1030 kilograms).


M108 or M-108 may refer to

M-108 highway (Michigan), a road in the United States

M108 Howitzer, an American self-propelled 105 mm howitzer

HMS Grimsby (M108), a minehunter in the Royal Navy

Messier 108, a spiral galaxy in the constellation Ursa Major

Messier object

The Messier objects are a set of 110 astronomical objects cataloged by the French astronomer Charles Messier in his Catalogue des Nébuleuses et des Amas d'Étoiles ("Catalogue of Nebulae and Star Clusters").

Because Messier was interested in finding only comets, he created a list of non-comet objects that frustrated his hunt for them. The compilation of this list, in collaboration with his assistant Pierre Méchain, is known as the Messier catalogue. This catalogue of objects is one of the most famous lists of astronomical objects, and many Messier objects are still referenced by their Messier number.

The catalogue includes some astronomical objects that can be observed from Earth's Northern Hemisphere such as deep-sky objects, a characteristic which makes the Messier objects extremely popular targets for amateur astronomers.A preliminary version first appeared in the Memoirs of the French Academy of Sciences in 1771,

and the last item was added in 1966 by Kenneth Glyn Jones, based on Messier's observations.

The first version of Messier's catalogue contained 45 objects and was published in 1774 in the journal of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris. In addition to his own discoveries, this version included objects previously observed by other astronomers, with only 17 of the 45 objects being Messier's.

By 1780 the catalogue had increased to 80 objects. The final version of the catalogue containing 103 objects was published in 1781 in the Connaissance des Temps for the year 1784.

However, due to what was thought for a long time to be the incorrect addition of Messier 102, the total number remained 102. Other astronomers, using side notes in Messier's texts, eventually filled out the list up to 110 objects.The catalogue consists of a diverse range of astronomical objects, ranging from star clusters and nebulae to galaxies. For example, Messier 1 is a supernova remnant, known as the Crab Nebula, and the great spiral Andromeda Galaxy is M31. Many further inclusions followed in the next century when the first addition came from Nicolas Camille Flammarion in 1921, who added Messier 104 after finding Messier's side note in his 1781 edition exemplar of the catalogue. M105 to M107 were added by Helen Sawyer Hogg in 1947, M108 and M109 by Owen Gingerich in 1960, and M110 by Kenneth Glyn Jones in 1967.

Ursa Major

Ursa Major (; also known as the Great Bear) is a constellation in the northern sky, whose associated mythology likely dates back into prehistory. Its Latin name means "greater (or larger) she-bear," referring to and contrasting it with nearby Ursa Minor, the lesser bear. In antiquity, it was one of the original 48 constellations listed by Ptolemy in the 2nd century AD. Today it is the third largest of the 88 modern constellations.

Ursa Major is primarily known from the asterism of its main seven stars, which has been called the "Big Dipper," "the Wagon," "Charles's Wain," and "the Plough," among other names. In particular, the Big Dipper's stellar configuration mimics the shape of the "Little Dipper." Its two brightest stars, named Dubhe and Merak (α Ursae Majoris and β Ursae Majoris), can be used as the navigational pointer towards the place of the current northern pole star, Polaris in Ursa Minor.

Ursa Major, along with asterisms that incorporate or comprise it, is significant to numerous world cultures, often as a symbol of the north. Its depiction on the flag of Alaska is a modern example of such symbolism.

Ursa Major is visible throughout the year from most of the northern hemisphere, and appears circumpolar above the mid-northern latitudes. From southern temperate latitudes, the main asterism is invisible, but the southern parts of the constellation can still be viewed.

See also

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