NGC691 Group of Galaxies in Aries

There are five galaxies in this image. They are all about 90-130 million light years away!!! Yes – light that you see now left these galaxies way before Dinosaurs were killed by the big asteroid (that extinction happened about 66 million years back).

Here are numbers for each (for us geeks):
1. NGC 691 – A spiral galaxy right in the middle of the image.
2. IC 167 – A S shaped galaxy at 7 o clock
3. NGC 694 – A small galaxy left of IC167 (at about 7:30) (a blue-purple cotton ball)
4. NGC 680 – A large elliptical galaxy at 10 o clock
5. IC 1730 – A small galaxy below NGC 680, right on the edge of the image (at about 9:30) (a small orange oval shaped object)

NGC 680, an elliptical galaxy with an asymmetrical boundary, is at magnitude 12.9. NGC 680 has a diameter of 72,000 light-years.

NGC 691 itself is a spiral galaxy slightly inclined to our line of sight. It has multiple spiral arms and a bright core. Because it is so diffuse, it has a low surface brightness. It has a diameter of 126,000 light-years and is 124 million light-years away.

There is some evidence that IC 167 is interacting with nearby NGC 694 as they seem to share HI regions. However, this galaxy is only at ~ 90 million Light years away.

I took this image over almost 6 hours (10 Luminance of 20 minutes each and 15 color images of 10 minutes each).

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