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Seyfert galaxy in Cetus

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About 47 million light years away, Messier 77 is an example of a Seyfert galaxy—a galaxy with a bright and active nucleus.  The nuclei of these galaxies are strong emitters of radiation, and they are thought to contain large black holes in their centers.  Through my 18-inch telescope, Messier 77 is easy to see, with its very bright nucleus surrounded by a much fainter halo.  I can just barely detect a hint of a spiral arm, as well as some of the dark areas that surround the brighter central region. However, I cannot see the much fainter outer halo that is visible in this photo.

Magnitude 8.8
Apparent Size 7' x 6'
Distance (light yrs) 47 million
Right Ascension 2:42.7
Declination -0 01
Field of View 29' x 22'

Image details:  Exposure times of 206 minutes luminance, and 30 minutes each of red, green, and blue, taken with an SBIG ST-8300M imager and a 14" Meade LX850 telescope at f/6.

January 2015