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Spiral Galaxy NGC 2775

NGC 2775-2 NGC 2775-1

Spiral Galaxy NGC 2775

NGC 2775 is a magnitude +10.5 spiral galaxy located in the constellation of Cancer, close to its border with Hydra. The spiral pattern starts very abruptly outside of this region showing a mind-boggling complexity (especially at higher resolutions). The star formation is confined to this ring of tightly wound arms. Indeed, this galaxy has been host to 5 supernovae explosions in the past 30 years. While this picture seems to show a quiet and delicate swirl, 3you never know when another star will explode in this busy place some 60 million light years away.

To find NGC 2775 look for the head of Hydra “the Sea Serpent”. The asterism of stars that forms the head are ω Hyd (mag. +5.0), ζ Hyd (mag. +3.1), ρ Hyd (mag. +4.4), ε Hyd (mag. +3.4), δ Hyd (mag. +4.1), σ Hyd (mag. +4.5) and η Hyd (mag. +4.3). None of the stars are particularly bright but all can be seen with the naked eye. The galaxy is positioned a few degrees east and slightly north of this grouping.

NGC 2775 was discovered by William Herschel in 1783 and is best seen during the months of February, March and April. The galaxy is located 55.5 million light-years from Earth and has an actual diameter of 70,000 light-years. It’s estimated to contain 100 billion stars.

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