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NGC 1954

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NGC 1954

It is part of the triple galaxy system of HDCE 0361. The other two members being NGC 1957 and the “red and dead” IC 3132. All have a redshift distance of about 150 million light-years.

NGC 1954 is classified as SA(rs)bc pec by NED and simply Sc by the NGC project. NGC 1957 is listed as SB(rs0- by NED and E by the NGC Project. As a ring structure is seen faintly I’ll have to go with NED on this one. IC 2132 is listed at NED as Sa pec: It is an example of what now are known as red and dead galaxies due to their lack of recent star formation. About all the remaining stars are old red stars and a few red giants, the last of the more massive stars. Thus its spiral structure is quite muted. Oddly it seems to have a strong dust lane but for some reason that isn’t forming stars or if it is they are hidden behind the dust. It is a strong IR emitting galaxy as it is listed in the 2MASS survey. That could be due to hot new stars heating dust that emits in the IR part of the spectrum.

NGC 1954 is a huge galaxy. Measuring from the northwestern tip that extends beyond a faint background galaxy to the southeastern tip that seems to turn back on itself, it is 315 seconds of arc long. That makes it some 229,000 light-years in size! Another reason to wonder if this isn’t due to the combining of two different galaxies. By comparison NGC 1957 is only 43,000 light-years across and IC 3132 83,000 light-years in diameter. Large but not unusually so.

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