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Le Gentil

M32, NGC 221

Proper NameLe Gentil
Messier NumberM32
NGC/IC NumberNGC 221
Right Ascension0h 42m 42s
Declination+40° 51' 55"
Distancec.2,500,000 light years
c.760,000 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +7.9
Absolute: -16.5
DiameterApparent: 7.7'
Actual: 6,500 light years
Hubble TypeE2 Elliptical
Optimum VisibilityOctober
NotesThis compact elliptical galaxy forms a companion to M31, the Andromeda Galaxy. Its origins are unclear, but it may be a remnant of a larger galaxy that collided with, and was largely absorbed by, the Andromeda Galaxy. Le Gentil (as it is sometimes known, after its discoverer Guillaume Le Gentil) contains an active black hole at its core.

The swirling material forming the backdrop to Le Gentil in this image is a part of the spiral structure of the much larger Andromeda Galaxy, of which Le Gentil is a small satellite galaxy. Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas

A small elliptical galaxy that has an almost spherical shape. With M110, it is one of two companion galaxies to the much larger Andromeda spiral.


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