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Guiding telescope or lens:Borg 77 ED
Astrometry.net job: 1341883
RA center: 1h 42' 52"
DEC center: +13° 39' 43"
Pixel scale: 0.551 arcsec/pixel
Orientation: 343.978 degrees
Field radius: 0.396 degrees
I have been looking forward to this target for quite some time.
The RCOS over in DSW has been busy collecting the lum which I have paired with an abandoned LRGB shot I was taking on my OS (i collected the RGB but decided to abandon the lum as target was too small). However the RCOS luminance data has allowed me to have a look at this object. I will likely have another go when the RGB is from DSQ is also available.
Not only is this a lovely target to look at but there is so much going on. The result of a recent (1 billion years ago sort of recent) galaxy collision. Massive outburst and super clusters and of course the polar rings (which are at c45 degrees not 90 so not clear on the naming!)
Here's the Wikipedia data..........................
NGC 660 is a peculiar and unique polar-ring galaxy located approximately 45 million light years from Earth in the Pisces constellation. It is the only such galaxy having, as its host, a "late-type lenticular galaxy". It was probably formed when two galaxies collided a billion years ago. However, it may have first started as a disk galaxy that captured matter from a passing galaxy. This material could have, over time, become "strung out" to form a rotating ring.
The ring is not actually polar, but rather has an inclination from the plane of the host disk of approximately 45 degrees. The extreme number of pinkish star-forming areas that occurs along the galaxy's ring could be the result of the gravitation interaction caused by this collision. The ring is 50,000 light-years across - much broader than the disk itself - and has a greater amount of gas and star formation than the host ring. This likely indicates a very violent formation. The polar ring contains objects numbering in the hundreds. Many of these are red and blue supergiant stars. The most recently created stars in the ring were just formed approximately 7 million years ago. This indicates that the formation of these stars has been a long process and is still occurring.
Data about the dark matter halo of NGC 660 can be extracted by observing the gravitational effects of the dark matter on the disk and ring's rotation. From the core of the disk, radio waves are being emitted. The source of these waves is an area only 21 light years across. This may indicate the presence of a super-cluster of stars located within an area of cloud of gas. The region in the centre has a vast amount of star formation, so luminous that it is considered to be a starburst galaxy.
Late in 2012, this polar-ring galaxy produced an enormous outburst having a magnitude of approximately ten times brighter than a supernova explosion. The cause is not certain, but this event may have resulted from a tremendous jet being emanating from galaxy's central black hole.
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