NGC 4038
M77 - Cetus A Barred Spiral Galaxy
Messier 77 or M77 is a Cetas A type Barred Spiral Galaxy about 47 million light years away in the constellation Cetus, the sea monster. It is designated as Cetus A since it was identified as the strong X-ray source 1H 0244+001 in the constellation Cetus. It is also the brightest, closest, and best studied Seyfert II type galaxy. Seyfert II galaxies are like quasars, in that their central cores are very active, but unlike quasars they have visible clouds of dust and star formation. M77 is not yet officially classified as a barred spiral galaxy in which a galaxy's spiral arms form a bar structure that pass through the nucleus. Instead, its arms appear to "spiral" all the way to the center similar to those of Whirlpool Galaxy M51. However, detailed inffrared images of the inner part of the galaxy reveal a strong bar feature not seen in visible light. Using your mouse to hover over the image, note M77's outer arms as well as several other more distant galaxies highlighted. The stats for M77 (also designated NGC 1068) are RA: 02h 42m 40.2s, Dec: -00°00'48", Mag: 9.6, Size: 7.1'x6.0', and Galaxy Class: (R)SA(rs)b.
Optics: RC Optical System 20" F/8.2 (4165.6 mm Focal Length) Date: September 2017
Camera: SBIG STXL-11000 with AO-X Adaptive Optics Location: Columbus, Texas
Exposure: LRGB = 480:120:120:120 minutes Imager: Kent E. Biggs