06 October 2019

NGC 660

By  Andy Chatman
www.masterdarks.com )

NGC 660 is a peculiar polar ring galaxy somewhere between 26 and 48 million light years from Earth and about 1/3 the size of our own Milky Way Galaxy. As a result of two galaxies merging, the dust lanes have created an "X" pattern.

The very small apparent size of this galaxy (just 2.7 x 0.84 arcminutes), along with its very low surface brightness (magnitude 12) makes this a difficult target even for our 600mm RiLA telescope. This is the first image from the RiLA after 2 years of optical and mechanical issues have finally been sorted out.

Many other galaxies can be seen in this image. The light was collected over 4 nights by Mike Selby from Samphran, Thailand. Image processing was a challenge due to great variations in the background from local light pollution. A noise floor technique was used to help reduce background mottling.


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