Messier 77

Last updated on 18 July 2017

Messier 77 (also known as NGC 1068) is a barred spiral galaxy about 47 million light-years away in the constellation Cetus. Messier 77 is an active galaxy with an Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN), which is obscured from view by astronomical dust at visible wavelengths. The diameter of the molecular disk and hot plasma associated with the obscuring material was first measured at radio wavelengths by the VLBA and VLA. The hot dust around the nucleus was subsequently measured in the mid-infrared by the MIDI instrument at the VLTI. It is the brightest[3] Seyfert galaxy and is of type 2.[2]

Messier 77's diameter is estimated at 170,000 light-years.

Messier 77 spiral galaxy by HST.jpg
Messier 77 spiral galaxy by HST.jpg

Observation history

Messier 77 was discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1780, who originally described it as a nebula. Méchain then communicated his discovery to Charles Messier, who subsequently listed the object in his catalog.[4] Both Messier and William Herschel described this galaxy as a star cluster.[4] Today, however, the object is known to be a galaxy.

X-ray source

X-ray source 1H 0244+001 in Cetus has been identified as Messier 77 (NGC 1068, M77).[5]

Gallery

Dazzling galaxy Messier 77.jpg

Messier 77 image showcasing its glittering arms criss-crossed with dust lanes.[6]

M77 Galaxy from the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter Schulman Telescope courtesy Adam Block.jpg

Messier 77 broadband (RGB) seen by the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database". Results for NGC 1068. Retrieved 2006-11-18.
  2. ^ a b c R. J. Rand; J. F. Wallin (2004). "Pattern Speeds BIMA-SONG Galaxies with Molecule-Dominated ISMs Using the Tremaine-Weinberg Method". The Astrophysical Journal. 614: 142–157. Bibcode:2004ApJ...614..142R. arXiv:astro-ph/0406426Freely accessible. doi:10.1086/423423.
  3. ^ de Vaucouleurs, Gérard (1973). "Southern Galaxies.VI. Luminosity Distribution in the Seyfert Galaxy NGC 1566". Astrophysical Journal. 181: 31–50. Bibcode:1973ApJ...181...31D. doi:10.1086/152028.
  4. ^ a b K. G. Jones (1991). Messier's Nebulae and Star Clusters (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-37079-5.
  5. ^ Wood KS; Meekins JF; Yentis DJ; Smathers HW; McNutt DP; Bleach RD (1984). "The HEAO A-1 X-ray source catalog". Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. 56 (12): 507–649. Bibcode:1984ApJS...56..507W. doi:10.1086/190992.
  6. ^ "Dazzling galaxy Messier 77". www.eso.org. Retrieved 5 July 2017.

External links

Coordinates: Sky map 02h 42m 40.7s, −00° 00′ 48″

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