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NGC 1637 (Spiral Galaxy)


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NGC 1637
Spiral Galaxy (渦巻銀河)
Gx SBc

別名 (Other names)
PGC 15821, MCG 0-12-68, UGCA 93

明るさ (Brightness)
10.8等級

星座 (Constellation)
エリダヌス座 (Eri) (Eridanus)


距離 (Distance)
3,500万光年 (35 million light-years)

NGC 1637 is a spiral galaxy located 35 million light years from the Earth in the constellation Eridanus.

NGC 1637 (Spiral Galaxy) : Picture

Spiral Galaxy NGC 1637
Spiral Galaxy NGC 1637
(C) ESO
About 35 million light-years from Earth, in the constellation of Eridanus, lies the spiral galaxy NGC 1637. Back in 1999 the serene appearance of this galaxy was shattered by the appearance of a very bright supernova. Astronomers studying the aftermath of this explosion with ESO’s Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile have provided us with a stunning view of this relatively nearby galaxy.

Supernovae are amongst the most violent events in nature. They mark the dazzling deaths of stars and can outshine the combined light of the billions of stars in their host galaxies.

In 1999 the Lick Observatory in California reported the discovery of a new supernova in the spiral galaxy NGC 1637. It was spotted using a telescope that had been specially built to search for these rare, but important cosmic objects . Follow-up observations were requested so that the discovery could be confirmed and studied further. This supernova was widely observed and was given the name SN 1999em. After its spectacular explosion in 1999, the supernova’s brightness has been tracked carefully by scientists, showing its relatively gentle fading through the years.

The star that became SN 1999em was very massive — more than eight times the mass of the Sun — before its death. At the end of its life its core collapsed, which then created a cataclysmic explosion .

When they were making follow up observations of SN 1999em astronomers took many pictures of this object with the VLT, which were combined to provide us with this very clear image of its host galaxy, NGC 1637. The spiral structure shows up in this image as a very distinct pattern of bluish trails of young stars, glowing gas clouds and obscuring dust lanes.

Although at first glance NGC 1637 appears to be a fairly symmetrical object it has some interesting features. It is what astronomers classify as a lopsided spiral galaxy: the relatively loosely wound spiral arm at the top left of the nucleus stretches around it much further than the more compact and shorter arm at the bottom right, which appears dramatically slashed midway through its course.

Elsewhere in the image the view is scattered with much closer stars and more distant galaxies that happen to lie in the same direction.

Spiral Galaxy NGC 1637
Spiral Galaxy NGC 1637
(C) NASA/ESA

Wide-field view of the sky around the spiral galaxy NGC 1637
Wide-field view of the sky around the spiral galaxy NGC 1637
(C) ESO
This image shows the sky around the spiral galaxy NGC 1637 in the constellation of Eridanus. It was created from images from the Digitized Sky Survey 2.

The spiral galaxy NGC 1637 in the constellation of Eridanus
The spiral galaxy NGC 1637 in the constellation of Eridanus
(C) ESO
This chart shows the position of the spiral galaxy NGC 1637 in the constellation of Eridanus. Most of the stars that are visible to the unaided eye from a clear and dark site are shown. The location of the galaxy is marked with a red circle. NGC 1637 is visible as a faint smudge in moderate-sized amateur telescopes.

The supernova 1999em in the galaxy NGC 1637 Spiral Galaxy NGC 1637
The supernova 1999em in the galaxy NGC 1637
(C) ESO
Spiral Galaxy NGC 1637
(C) NASA/ESA
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NGC 1637 (Spiral Galaxy) : Movie

Zooming in on the spiral galaxy NGC 1637
This video sequence starts with a view of the bright constellation of Orion. As we zoom in, we focus on an adjacent region of the constellation of Eridanus and a faint glow appears. This is the spiral galaxy NGC 1637, which appears in all its glory in the final view from ESO's Very Large Telescope. In 1999 scientists discovered a Type II supernova in this galaxy and followed its slow fading over the following years.

A close look at the spiral galaxy NGC 1637
This pan sequence takes a close look at a new image of the spiral galaxy NGC 1637 from ESO's Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. In 1999 scientists discovered a Type II supernova in this galaxy and followed its slow fading over the following years.
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