NGC 681

Click on image for larger version.

Look familiar? Well this galaxy mimics the much more famous Sombrero Galaxy (M104). However, NGC 681 shown here is just over 55 million light years away. Since M104 is only 25% closer, NGC 681 is considerably smaller than the mexican giant. However, unlike M104 this galaxy does show the hints of star forming regions in its dusty,bumpy disk. Astronomers that have studied this galaxy also noted something peculiar. Edge-on galaxies make good laboratories for studying the radial velocities of stars as the orbit in the disk of the galaxy. When these speeds are plotted versus distance from the center of the galaxy, a "flat" rotation graph can result. This means that stars in the outer parts of the galaxy (the spiral arms) are moving at the same speed whereas stars in the bulges of these kinds of galaxies tend to be moving in a more random way and a bit slower. However, NGC 681 does not show this behavior in its bulge. The stars are moving almost at the same speed everywhere in the galaxy. For more about this topic click HERE.


20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/8.4
Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount
SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

L R G B color production was used to create this image.

Luminance = 70 minutes binned 1x1
Red = 10 minutes binned 2x2
Green = 10 minutes binned 2x2
Blue = 10 minutes binned 2x2

  • One iteration of L-R deconvolution (sharpening) algorithm using CCDsharp wasapplied to the luminance image.

  • Digital Development (DDP) via Maxim/DL was also used in order to display the the very dim and very bright details of the image simultaneously.
  • Minimum credit line: Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF

    RETURN to the GALAXIES page.

    BACK to main Best of AOP page.

    Updated: 10/08/2003