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IC 2151

A spiral galaxy in the constellation of Lepus, the Hare. IC 2151 falls almost directly westwards of the brilliant star Sirius, on an imaginary line towards Arneb, the brightest star in Lepus, though with a visual magnitude of +14.2, it is far too faint to be visible to the naked eye.

This galaxy has a distinctly spiral form, with two major spiral arms extending out from the core eastward and westward, and at least one other significant arm trailing out towards the north. While most authorities classifiy IC 2151 as a barred spiral, its bar is not distinctive, and some sources describe it as a simple spiral in form.

Close to IC 2151 in the sky is another, apparently slightly larger, spiral galaxy, IC 438. The appearance of these two galaxies close together in the sky is a coincidence of their line of sight from Earth. It might be natural to assume that the apparently larger galaxy is the closer of the two, but this is not the case. In fact, the more distant IC 438 is comparatively even larger than it appears, with an actual diameter of some 100,000 light years compared to about 44,000 for IC 2151.


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