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NEST 100044 - a distant galaxy cluster in Lynx


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Earlier this week we had an unexpected and short lived gap in the clouds and I was able to get a few subs in. As the sky could cloud over any minute, I decided not to start a major project. In stead I pointed my telescope straight up at a cloudless and seemingly empty patch of the sky in the constellation of Lynx. According to Aladin, there should be a few small but interesting distant galaxies in this part of the heavens.
Luckily, the clouds kept their distance for a few hours, and I was able to collect 112 minutes RGB and 50 minutes Luminance.
The target for the night was a cluster of galaxies, called Nest 100044 (RA 8hrs, DEC 56 deg). This cluster has 18 identified members in the SIMBAD database. Their magnitudes range from roughly 14 to 18, with NGC 2488 towards the left in my image, being one of the brightest members.
The cluster is situated at a distance of some 380 Mly from our own galaxy. One of its largest members is the needle galaxy towards the bottom of my image. This edge on spiral galaxy, named UGC 4133, has an angular size of 1.37 arc minutes and is located at a distance of 390 Mly. Its size is approximately 150 000 lightyears across, 50% larger than our own Milky Way.
UGC 4133's siamese twin, UG C4134 is 2 Mly further away. Its angular size of 0,89 arc minutes means that it is about as large as the Milky Way.
Also in this field of view, just above and to the right of the centre, is NGC 2469, which is located less than half the distance of the cluster. This galaxy is also much smaller, only about 31 000 light years across. Because NGC 2469 is so much closer to us, it looks both brighter and more blue.

Btw, the warmer colour of the cluster is not due to the red shift (which is only 0.029), but rather the scattering of light by galactic dust in the Milky Way. Brighter NGC 2469 is less affected by this than the more distant galaxies of NEST 100044.


(click on the image to view the full size)


Capture details:

  • MN190 on SW AZEQ6-GT with ZWO ASI294MM camera and 31 mm Optolong LRGB filters
  • L: 33 x 90 s at gain 120 and temperature -20C
  • RGB: 15 x 150 s for each channel

Capture software: Ekos/Kstars

Processed in PixInsight.

Edited by wimvb
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2 hours ago, mdstuart said:

Fascinating image. I have seen NGC 2488 and NGC 2469 visually but you have captured so many more. 

I must revisit this region.

Thanks for sharing.


Thank you, Mark

What scope did you use for observing these. NGC 2469 is brighter than the others, but I guess you must have been at a dark site with a large(-ish) aperture telescope.

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I saw NGC 2469 when I had a 14 inch scope. I saw it as a small galaxy between two stars. The galaxy required averted vision to spot.

NGC 2488 was a lot further back when I had my 10 inch Skywatcher. I noted it as a very tough galaxy to spot with an oval shape.

I will go back and re-visit the field with my 20 inch scope sometime. My skies are OK overhead with a limiting magnitude of about 5.





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