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Seashell Galaxy

NGC 5291

Proper NamesSeashell Galaxy
Messier NumberNone
NGC/IC NumberNGC 5291
ConstellationCentaurus
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.

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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