Bernard’s Galaxies – NGC 6822

Grand spiral galaxies often seem to get all the glory, flaunting their young, bright, blue star clusters in beautiful, symmetric spiral arms. But small galaxies form stars too, like nearby NGC 6822, also known as Barnard’s Galaxy. Beyond the rich starfields in the constellation Sagittarius, NGC 6822 is a mere 1.5 million light-years away, a member of our Local Group of galaxies. In the universe’s large scale scheme of things, this galaxy is basically our next door neighbor.

The galaxy is very small as compared to usual spiral galaxies such as Milky Way. About 7,000 light-years across (while Milky Way is 100000 light years wide), the dwarf irregular galaxy is seen to be filled with young blue stars and mottled with the telltale pinkish hydrogen glow of star forming regions in this image.

Remember that all the stars you see in this image are stars of our own Milky Way that happen to reside on the line of sight of this galaxy. The galaxy at 1.5 million light year distance, does not allow us to look at individuals stars in them. Some of the blue dots on the surface of the galaxy are star clusters that look like individual stars to us. The blue hazy nebulosity is nothing but millions of smaller stars that look like a cloud to us.

I took this image in July 2019 & September 2019, and took it over 8.25 hours. There were 14 images of 20 minutes each of Luminance & 7 images each of 10 minutes of each color.

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