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Seashell Galaxy

NGC 5291

Proper NameSeashell Galaxy
Messier NumberNone
NGC/IC NumberNGC 5291
Right Ascension13h 47m 24s
Declination-30° 24' 25"
Distancec.187,200,000 light years
c.57,400,000 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +14.1
Absolute: -19.7
DiameterApparent: 1.2'
Actual: c.65,000 light years
Hubble TypesE pec Peculiar Elliptical (central galaxy)
S0a Spiral Galaxy ('Seashell' formation)
Optimum VisibilityApril / May
NotesNGC 5291 consists of several interacting galactic structures resulting from a cosmic collision in the distant past. Apart from the central Elliptical Galaxy and the spiralling curl that gives the Seashell its name, the group also contains a shattered dwarf galaxy extending out from the central grouping.

This image is centred on the Seashell formation itself, a spiral galaxy twisted and elongated into a seashell shape by the gravitational forces of the nearby massive elliptical, also designated NGC 5291. (The small Seashell Galaxy itself is properly PGC 48894, but in practice this interacting pair are commonly jointly described as NGC 5291.) Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas

A small cluster of galaxies near the northern border of Centaurus. It consists of a system of interacting galaxies designated NGC 5291, with the 'seashell' structure lying very close to a more massive elliptical galaxy. The gravitational force of its larger neighbour has stretched it into a tapering spiral shape, like that of a seashell.


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