A Lonely Spiral in a Tapestry of Galaxies

This stunning image features NGC 3198, a galaxy that lies about 47 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. This image was taken with the Mosaic instrument on the 4-meter Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab, and shows the full extent of the galaxy, from the bright central bulge to the tenuous outer reaches of the tightly-wound spiral arms. Almost all the objects lurking in the background are galaxies or galaxy clusters — a sea of distant galaxies of all shapes, sizes, and orientations.

Accurately measuring the distance to an astronomical object — everything from our own Sun to galaxies such as NGC 3198 — is an age-old challenge for astronomers, and requires a combination of measurements and methods. The galaxy at the heart of this image has played a part in this astronomical undertaking by allowing astronomers to calibrate astronomical distance measurements based on a type of variable star known as a Cepheid variable.

Credit:

KPNO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA. 

Acknowledgments:
PI: M T. Patterson (New Mexico State University)
Image processing: Travis Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage), Mahdi Zamani & Davide de Martin

About the Image

Id:iotw2035a
Type:Observation
Release date:Aug. 26, 2020, 10:02 a.m.
Size:3168 x 2485 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 3198
Constellation:Ursa Major
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

Large JPEG
2.6 MB
Screensize JPEG
260.0 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
283.0 KB
1280x1024
449.9 KB
1600x1200
650.6 KB
1920x1200
796.2 KB
2048x1536
1.0 MB

Coordinates

Position (RA):10 19 55.95
Position (Dec):45° 33' 22.61"
Field of view:13.82 x 10.84 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 90.0° left of vertical


Colors & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
U
355 nmNicholas U. Mayall 4-meter Telescope
Mosaic 1
Optical
B
438 nmNicholas U. Mayall 4-meter Telescope
Mosaic 1
Optical
R
651 nmNicholas U. Mayall 4-meter Telescope
Mosaic 1
Optical
H-alpha
657 nmNicholas U. Mayall 4-meter Telescope
Mosaic 1