NGC2903

64. NGC2903


NGC 2903  RA: 9h 32.2'  Dec: +21 30'   Leo (Leo)

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NGC 2903 is an isolated barred spiral galaxy in the equatorial constellation of Leo, positioned about 1.5° due south of Lambda Leonis. It was discovered by German-born astronomer William Herschel, who cataloged it on November 16, 1784. He mistook it as a double nebula, as did subsequent observers, and it wasn't until the nineteenth century that the Third Earl of Rosse resolved into a spiral form. J. L. E. Dreyer assigned it the identifiers 2903 and 2905 in his New General Catalogue; NGC 2905 now designates a luminous knot in the northeastern spiral arm.This field galaxy is located about 30 million light-years away from the Milky Way, and is a member of the Virgo Supercluster. The morphological classification of this galaxy is SBbc, indicating a barred spiral (SB) with moderate to tightly-wound spiral arms (bc). De Vaucouleurs and associates assigned it the class SAB(rs)bc, suggesting a weaker bar structure (SAB) with a partial ring (rs). The bar structure appears stronger in the near infrared band. The galaxy as a whole is inclined by an angle of 60° to the line of sight from the Earth.72% of the stellar mass is located in the outer disk of the galaxy, and 20% is found in the bar. The bulge adds 5% of the stellar mass, and its star population is generally older. However, the central ~650 pc radius volume of the core is a strong starburst region. The star formation rate here is 0.7 M☉ y−1 and it is being fed by gas inflow along the bar. There is no evidence of an active nucleus.The irregular dwarf galaxy KKH 51 appears to be a companion, as they have an angular separation of 25′ and nearly the same radial velocity.
 

Image Information

Location Fingal ON
Date Apr 29 2011
Optics Celestron 9.25 SCT
Filters f/6.3 Reducer
Mount Celestron CGE
Camera Canon/Hutech T1i
ISO 1600
Subexposures 9
Exposure Length 240
Guider SBIG ST-4/WO 66SD
 

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All images copyright © 2006-2021, Rick Saunders
Main text descriptions sourced from Wikipaedia.
Sky position information is based on IP geolocation and is therefore approximate.