The czech president’s galaxy

This new image of the spiral galaxy NGC 3244 was taken with the help of the President of the Czech Republic, Václav Klaus, during his visit to ESO’s Paranal Observatory [1], on the night of 6 April 2011. The Czech Republic joined ESO in 2007, and this was the first visit of the country’s President to an ESO site.

This galaxy has attracted considerable interest from astronomers over the past nine months, thanks to the violent death of one of its stars, which was discovered on 27 June 2010. This supernova explosion, now known as Supernova 2010ev (SN 2010ev), is still visible as the — now faint — blue dot nestled within one of the thick spiral arms just to the left of the galaxy’s nucleus.

To the right of  the galaxy, an unremarkable foreground star in our own Milky Way, TYC 7713-527-1, shines brightly enough to catch our attention. Although the star seems a great deal brighter than SN 2010ev, this is actually an illusion created by the large difference in the distances of the two objects. The galaxy is much further away, at a distance of about 90 million light years, while the star lies thousands of times closer, within our own galaxy.

At its brightest, SN 2010ev reached an apparent magnitude of about 14, making it about 1000 times dimmer than the naked eye can see, but it was still the third brightest supernova observed in 2010. In fact, if the supernova had been as close to Earth as TYC 7713-527-1, it would have been easily visible to the naked eye, unlike the aforementioned star.

The image was taken using the FORS2 instrument on the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT). The filters used for the image were B, V and R, which were coloured blue, green and red respectively. A framed print of the President’s Galaxy has been presented to Václav Klaus, as a memento of his visit to Paranal.

Notes

[1] For more information about the visit of the President of the Czech Republic, Václav Klaus, see the organisation release

Links

Crédit:

ESO

À propos de l'image

Identification:potw1120a
Type:Observation
Date de publication:16 mai 2011 10:00
Taille:738 x 578 px

À propos de l'objet

Nom:NGC 3244, TYC 7713-527-1
Type:Milky Way : Star
Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
Distance:90 million années lumière
Constellation:Antlia
Catégorie:Galaxies
Stars

Formats des images

Grand JPEG
139,6 Kio
JPEG taille écran
155,5 Kio

Zoomable


Fonds d'écran

1024x768
213,2 Kio
1280x1024
333,3 Kio
1600x1200
454,9 Kio
1920x1200
498,9 Kio
2048x1536
667,6 Kio

Coordinates

Position (RA):10 25 28.92
Position (Dec):-39° 49' 38.86"
Field of view:3.10 x 2.43 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 89.8° right of vertical

Couleurs & filtres

DomaineTélescope
Visible
B
Very Large Telescope
FORS2
Visible
V
Very Large Telescope
FORS2
Visible
R
Very Large Telescope
FORS2