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NGC266


alan4908

NGC 266 is a large barred spiral galaxy in Pisces which is visually close to the 8th magnitude red/orange K star BD+31 122.  It has an estimated diameter of 190 000 light years and is about 200m light years distant.  Two spiral arms are seen to connect to the central bar and can be followed through a complete rotation.  The galaxy is at the edge of a massive cloud of neutral hydrogen (HI) which stretches to another galaxy, NGC 262. Since NGC 262 has much lower amounts of HI than NGC 266, it is speculated that this HI cloud originates from NGC 266. 


The background image also reveals many galaxies and quasars, some of which are identified in the annotated version. Perhaps the most notable object is the spiral galaxy PGC212604, which is estimated to be 1.1 billion light years distant. If you look closely, you can also see a faint streak coming from the bottom of the galaxy, which is believed to be a blue companion galaxy. 
 

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