GTC Astronomical Images Gallery

 

M64
High Resolution Image

Object Name:
NGC 6946, Fireworks Galaxy
Telescope:
Grantecan / Nasmyth-B
Instrument:
OSIRIS
Filter:
G (481nm), R (641nm), I (770 nm), OS657 (657nm, FWHM 35nm)
Color:
Blue (G), Green (Blue+Red), Red (R+I), Yellow (OS657)
Exposure:
4 x 30 secs (G, R, and I), 4 x 60 secs (OS657)
Field of View:
Approx. 8' x 8'
Orientation:
North is left, East is down
Position:
RA(J2000.0) = 20h34m52s
Dec(J2000.0) = +60°09'14"

NGC 6946 (also known as the Fireworks Galaxy) is an spiral galaxy about 10 million light-years away in the constellations Cepheus and Cygnus discovered by William Herschel in 1798. It is also one of the nearest giant spiral galaxies beyond the local group. NGC 6946 has a peculiar multiple arm spiral structure which coalesces into four dominant spiral arms. The diameter of the galaxy is approximately 40,000 light-years or just about a third of the size of the Milky Way. From our vantage point in the Milky Way Galaxy, we see NGC 6946 face-on. NGC 6946 is highly obscured by interstellar matter of the Milky Way galaxy, as it is quite close to the galactic plane. From the core outward, the galaxy's colors change from the yellowish light of old stars in the center to young blue star clusters and reddish star forming regions along the loose, fragmented spiral arms. NGC 6946 is also bright in infrared light and rich in gas and dust, exhibiting a high star birth and death rate. In fact, since the early 20th century at least nine supernovae, the death explosions of massive stars, were discovered in NGC 6946. This makes it the most prolific known galaxy for this type of event over a period of 100 years. By comparison, the Milky Way galaxy, which has double the number of stars as NGC 6946, averages one supernova event per century.

 


 

M64
High Resolution Image

Object Name:
Messier 64, Black Eye Galaxy
Telescope:
Grantecan / Nasmyth-B
Instrument:
OSIRIS
Filter:
G (481nm), R (641nm), I (770 nm), Z (970nm), OS657 (657nm, FWHM 35nm)
Color:
Blue (G), Green (Blue+Red), Red (R+I), Yellow (OS657)
Exposure:
2 x 30 secs (G, R, and I), 2 x 30 secs (OS657)
Field of View:
Approx. 10' x 5.5'
Orientation:
North is left, East is down
Position:
RA(J2000.0) = 12h56m44s
Dec(J2000.0) = +21°40'58"

M64 is a spiral galaxy known as the Black Eye Galaxy due to a spectacular dark band of absorbing dust in front of the nucleus, resulting in a smudged appearance. With an apparent magnitude of +8.8, it can be glimpsed with good binoculars on dark nights, appearing as a faint slightly irregular patch of light. The galaxy is located in the constellation of Coma Berenices and was discovered by English astronomer Edward Pigott on March 23, 1779. Twelve days later Johann Elert Bode independently found it and Charles Messier adding it to his catalogue on March 1, 1780. The dark dust feature was discovered by William Herschel in 1785, comparing it to a black eye. M64 is at about 24 Million light-years distant and has an apparent size of 10.0 x 5.5 arc minutes, which corresponds to an actual linear diameter of 70,000 light-years. It's estimated to contain 100 billion stars and is best seen from northern latitudes during the months of March, April and May. M64 was recently shown to have two counterrotating systems of stars and gas in its disk: The inner part of about 3,000 light years radius is rubbing along the inner edge of the outer disk, which rotates opposite and extends up to at least 40,000 light years, at about 300 km/sec. This rubbing process is probably the reason for the observed vigorous star formation process, which is currently under way, and can be observed as the blue knots imbedded in the peculiar dust lane on one side of the nucleus. It is speculated that this peculiar disk and dust lane may be caused by material from a former companion which has been accreted but has yet to settle into the mean orbital plane of the disk. M64 forms a small group with the small irregular UGC 8024. De Vaucouleurs (1975) has included these two galaxies, together with M94 and a number of fainter galaxies, as a member of a nearby group or cloud of galaxies, the Canes Venatici I (CVn I) Cloud or M94 group.

 


 

Arp271
High Resolution Image

Object Name:
Arp 271, NGC5426+NGC5427
Telescope:
Grantecan / Nasmyth-B
Instrument:
OSIRIS
Filter:
G (481nm), R (641nm), I (770 nm), Z (970nm), OS657 (657nm, FWHM 35nm)
Color:
Blue (G), Green (Blue+Red), Red (R+I+Z), Yellow (OS657)
Exposure:
3 x 30 secs (G, R, I and Z), 3 x 30 secs (OS657)
Field of View:
Approx. 5' x 3.5'
Orientation:
North is right, East is up
Position:
RA(J2000.0) = 14h00m48s
Dec(J2000.0) = -05°47'25"

Arp 271 is a pair of similarly sized interacting spiral galaxies, NGC 5426 (the more oblique galaxy) and NGC 5427 (the nearly open-faced spiral galaxy). These galaxies throes of a slow but disturbing interaction that could take a hundred million years to complete. As the galaxies advance their component stars are unlikely to collide, although new stars will form in the bunching of gas caused by gravitational tides. Close inspection of the image shows a bridge of material momentarily connecting both galaxies. Arp 271 spans about 130,000 light years and lies about 90 million light-years away toward the constellation of Virgo. Once thought to be unusual and rare, gravitational interactions between galaxies are now known to be quite common (especially in densely populated galaxy clusters) and are considered to play an important role in galaxy evolution. Most galaxies have probably had at least one major, if not many minor, interactions with other galaxies since the advent of the Big Bang some 14 billion years ago. Our own Milky Way, a spiral galaxy like those in this image, is, in fact, performing its own dance. Both with the nearby dwarf galaxy, called the Large Magellanic Cloud and a future interaction with the large spiral galaxy M-31 or the Andromeda galaxy, which is now located about 2.6 million light years away from the Milky Way.

 


 

Object Name:
Messier 76, Little Dumbbell Nebula
Telescope:
Grantecan / Nasmyth-B
Instrument:
OSIRIS
Filter:
G (481nm), R (641nm), OS657 (657nm, FWHM 35nm)
Color:
Blue (G), Green (R), Red (OS657)
Exposure:
3 x 30 secs (G and R), 3 x 60 secs (OS657)
Field of View:
Approx. 3' x 3.5'
Orientation:
North is up, East is left
Position:
RA(J2000.0) = 1h42m20s
Dec(J2000.0) = +51°31'34"
Messier 76 or M76 (also designated NGC 650/1) is a planetary nebula in the constellation Perseus. M76 lies at an estimated distance of 2500 light years and its diameter is 0.7 light years although there is some uncertainty in these values. Its age is not known. M76 is best seen during the autumn. As one of the more famous objects in the Messier Catalog, it is commonly known as the Little Dumbbell Nebula. M76 was discovered by P. Mechain in 1780. It is one of only four planetary nebulae in the Messier Catalog (M27, M57, M76, and M97). One of the faintest Messier objects, the Little Dumbbell Nebula is also known as the Cork Nebula, Butterfly Nebula, and Barbell Nebula. The central star is a magnitude 16.6 white dwarf with a temperature of 60.000 K. The nebula itself is the cast-off shell of this dying star.

 


 

Object Name:
Messier 74 with Supernova SN2013ej
Telescope:
Grantecan / Nasmyth-B
Instrument:
OSIRIS
Filter:
G (481nm), R (641nm), I (770nm), OS657 (657nm, FWHM 35nm)
Color:
Blue (G), Green (R), Red (I), Bright-red (OS657)
Exposure:
2 x 10 secs (G, R and I), 2 x 20 secs (OS657)
Field of View:
Approx. 8' x 8'
Orientation:
North is up, East is left
Position:
RA(J2000.0) = 1h36m42s
Dec(J2000.0) = +15°47'00"
M74 is a very nice example of so-called "grand-design" spiral galaxy. It's spiral arms can clearly be seen. This galaxy has a distance of 25 million light years and is quite bright, so that it can even be seen with a small telescope. To make this image a filter was used to bring out emission lines of clouds of Hydrogen gas that is show here as bright red spots. In many of these clouds new stars are being formed. On July 25th 2013 a very bright supernova was discovered in this galaxy. Since this image was taken a few days later the supernova can be seen, as is indicated by the arrow. A supernova is a violent explosion of a star at the very end of its life. Hence this image captures the very beginning and end of the life cycle of stars, all in a distant galaxy.

 


 

Object Name:
Sharpless 2-106
Telescope:
Grantecan / Nasmyth-B
Instrument:
OSIRIS
Filter:
G (481nm), R (641nm), Z (970nm), OS657 (657nm, FWHM 35nm), OS902 (902nm, FWHM 40nm)
Color:
Blue (G), Green (R), Red (Z). OS657 and OS902 were added as luminance to get resolution
Exposure:
3 x 30 secs (G, R and Z), 2 x 30 secs (OS657), 60 secs (OS902)
Field of View:
Approx. 3.0' x 3.5'
Orientation:
North is up, East is left
Position:
RA(J2000.0) = 20h27m27s
Dec(J2000.0) = +37°22'39"
Known as Sharpless 2-106, the hourglass-shaped (bipolar) nebula is a stellar nursery made up of glowing gas and light-scattering dust. The material shrouds a natal high-mass star thought to be mostly responsible for the hourglass shape of the nebula due to high-speed winds which eject material from the forming star deep within. Research also indicates that many sub-stellar objects are forming within the cloud and may someday result in a cluster of 50 to 150 stars in this region.

 


 

Object Name:
M1, The Crab Nebula
Telescope:
Grantecan / Nasmyth-B
Instrument:
OSIRIS
Filter:
G (481nm), R (641nm), I (770nm)
Color:
Blue (G), Green (R), Red (I)
Exposure:
4 x 30 secs (G), 3 x 30 secs (R and I)
Field of View:
Approx. 7.0' x 7.0'
Orientation:
North is up, East is left
Position:
RA(J2000.0) = 05h34m32s
Dec(J2000.0) = +22°00'52"
The Crab Nebula (M1) is a supernova remnant and pulsar wind nebula in the constellation of Taurus. At the center of the nebula lies the Crab Pulsar, a neutron star (or spinning ball of neutrons), which emits pulses of radiation from gamma rays to radio waves with a spin rate of 30.2 times per second. The nebula was the first astronomical object identified with a historical supernova explosion. The nebula acts as a source of radiation for studying celestial bodies that occult it.

 


 

Object Name:
NGC7635, The Bubble Nebula
Telescope:
Grantecan / Nasmyth-B
Instrument:
OSIRIS
Filter:
G (481nm), R (641nm), Z (970nm)
Color:
Blue (G), Green (R), Red (Z)
Exposure:
3 x 5 secs (G, R and Z), 3 x 30 secs (G, R and Z)
Field of View:
Approx. 7.0' x 8.0'
Orientation:
North is up, East is left
Position:
RA(J2000.0) = 23h20m48s
Dec(J2000.0) = +61°12'06"
NGC 7635, also called the Bubble Nebula, is a H II region emission nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia. The "bubble" is created by the stellar wind from a massive hot young central star, the 15 solar masses SAO 20575. The nebula is near a giant molecular cloud which contains the expansion of the bubble nebula while itself being excited by the hot central star, causing it to glow.It was discovered in 1787 by Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel.

 


 

Object Name:
NGC 5395 and NGC 5394, Arp 84
Telescope:
Grantecan / Nasmyth-B
Instrument:
OSIRIS
Filter:
G (481nm), R (641nm), I (770nm), OS657 (657nm, FWHM 35nm), OS902 (902nm, FWHM 40nm)
Color:
Blue (G), Green (R), Red (I), OS657 and OS902 were added as luminance to get resolution
Exposure:
3 x 30 secs (G, R and I), 2 x 30 secs (OS657), 60 secs (OS902)
Field of View:
Approx. 6.0' x 7.0'
Orientation:
North is up, East is left
Position:
RA(J2000.0) = 13h58m34s
Dec(J2000.0) = +37°27'11"
NGC 5395 and 5394 , also known as Arp 84, are two interacting galaxies in the constellation Canes Venatici. The larger, NGC 5395, is at a distance 165 million light-years and NGC 5394 is 162 million light-years away. NGC 5394 is thought to have cart wheeled through NGC 5395, instead of a grazing encounter. Arp 84 is also known as the Heron Galaxy. The image shows a few dozen background galaxies.

 


 

Object Name:
M20, The Trifid Nebula
Telescope:
Grantecan / Nasmyth-B
Instrument:
OSIRIS
Filter:
G (481nm), R (641nm), Z (970nm)
Color:
Blue (G), Green (R), Red (Z)
Exposure:
5 x 10 secs (G and R), 2 x 10 secs (Z). R applied with luminance
Field of View:
Approx. 8.0' x 8.0'
Orientation:
North is up, East is left
Position:
RA(J2000.0) = 18h02m23s
Dec(J2000.0) = -23°01'50"
The Trifid Nebula (M20) is an H II region located in Sagittarius. Its name means 'divided into three lobes'. The object is an unusual combination of an open cluster of stars, an emission nebula (the lower, red portion), a reflection nebula (the upper, blue portion) and a dark nebula (the apparent 'gaps' within the emission nebula that cause the trifid appearance).

 


 

Object Name:
M51, Whirlpool Galaxy
Telescope:
Grantecan / Nasmyth-B
Instrument:
OSIRIS
Filter:
G (481nm), R (641nm), Z (970nm)
Color:
Blue (G), Green (R), Red (Z)
Exposure:
3 x 30 secs (G, R and Z)
Field of View:
Approx. 9.0' x 7.5'
Orientation:
North is up, East is left
Position:
RA(J2000.0) = 13h29m53s
Dec(J2000.0) = +47°11'43"
M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, in Canes Venatici is famous for its beautiful spiral structure, was discovered by Messier in October 1773. The M51 system is a spectacular example of interacting galaxies - in this case NGC 5195 is being "ripped apart" by the huge gravitational disturbance of M51, while M51 has in turn undergone huge structural alteration from the gravitational effects of NGC 5195.

 


 

Object Name:
M56, Globular Cluster in Lyra
Telescope:
Grantecan / Nasmyth-B
Instrument:
OSIRIS
Filter:
G (481nm), R (641nm), Z (970nm)
Color:
Blue (G), Green (R), Red (Z)
Exposure:
3 x 30 secs (G, R and Z)
Field of View:
Approx. 5.0' x 8.0'
Orientation:
North is up, East is left
Position:
RA(J2000.0) = 19h16m36s
Dec(J2000.0) = +30°11'00"
Messier 56 (M56) is located about half-way between Beta Cygni (Albireo) and Gamma Lyrae. It is one of the less bright Messier globulars, especially lacking the bright core which most globulars have. M56 was one of Charles Messier's original discoveries; he saw it first on January 23, 1779 and describes it as a "nebula without stars," like most globular clusters. It was first resolved into stars by William Herschel around 1784.

 


Last modified: 19 November 2016