Portrait of a Needle Galaxy

The remarkably thin galaxy IC 2233 is featured in this image from the Nicholas U. Mayall 4-meter Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab. IC 2233’s needle-thin profile is due to both its structure and its orientation towards Earth. The galaxy’s orientation — known to astronomers as inclination — is almost exactly side-on, making this one of the flattest galaxies known. The exposure of this particular image is deep and the entire field littered with galaxies of various types of inclinations.  As well as lying flat from our point of view, IC 2233 also lacks the prominent bulge that fattens the profile of spiral galaxies such as Andromeda and the Milky Way.  The wafer-thin profile of this celestial needle has been fascinating observers for nearly 150 years — IC 2233 was first discovered in 1874 by the Welsh amateur astronomer Isaac Roberts, one of the pioneers of astrophotography. 

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:iotw2101a
Type:Observation
Release date:Jan. 6, 2021, 8 a.m.
Size:2551 x 1435 px

About the Object

Name:IC 2233
Constellation:Lynx
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

Large JPEG
645.1 KB
Screensize JPEG
116.3 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
160.8 KB
1280x1024
252.9 KB
1600x1200
364.0 KB
1920x1200
427.4 KB
2048x1536
533.3 KB

Coordinates

Position (RA):8 13 59.84
Position (Dec):45° 44' 37.18"
Field of view:11.13 x 6.26 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 89.9° 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