Galaxy in Pisces

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NGC 660 is an example of a very rare "polar ring" galaxy. Notice that the brightest portion of this galaxy extends diagonally from the upper left to the lower right, but there is a faint outer ring that is almost vertical in this image.

Other galaxies have outer rings, but usually they are in the same plane as the main disk of the galaxy. Here, the ring, though not exactly perpendicual to the main disk, is at a very diferent orientation. It is thought that this unique structure was caused by a collision of two galaxies perhaps a billion years ago.

To produce this image I collected 340 minutes of luminance exposures, making it the longest total exposure I have used so far. As a result, it has the dimmest objects I have reached so far. Some galaxies as dim as magnitue 24.1 and 24.2 are just barely visible in the enlarged version of this image.

Magnitude 12.0
Apparent Size 5.4' x 3.9'
Distance (light yrs) 45 million
Right Ascension 1:43.0
Declination +13 39
Field of View 29' x 22'

Image details:  Exposure times of 340 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 2017