NGC 5866 - The Spindle Galaxy

NGC 5866 (also called the Spindle Galaxy or Messier 102) is a notably bright lenticular galaxy in the constellation of Draco. NGC 5866 was most likely discovered by Pierre Méchain or Charles Messier in 1781, and independently found by William Herschel in 1788. Measured orbital velocities of its globular cluster system imply that dark matter makes up only a comparably small fraction of all gravitationally interacting matter, making it one of the most dark matter devoid galaxies.

One of the most defining features of NGC 5866 is the extended dust disk, which is seen almost exactly edge-on as a thin line. This dust lane is highly unusual for a lenticular galaxy. The dust in most lenticular galaxies is generally found only near the nucleus and generally follows the light profile of the galaxies' bulges.

This dust disk may contain a ring-like structure, although the shape of this structure is difficult to determine given the edge-on orientation of the galaxy. It is also possible that the galaxy is a spiral galaxy that was misclassified as a lenticular galaxy because of its edge-on orientation, in which case the dust lane would not be too unusual.

With the method of short exposures or "Deep-Sky Lucky-Imaging" we are agle to resolve the dust lane and its details in a very high resolution standing out from the bright halo-like background of the galaxy.

  • Category

    Lenticular Galaxy S0

  • Coordinates

    RA 15h 06m 29,5s
    DEC +55° 45′ 48″

  • Distance

    ~ 12.3 Mpc

  • Apparent Mag

    9.9 mag (int.)

  • Equipment

    2x Skywatcher Quattro 10"
    2x Skywatcher EQ6
    ZWO ASI 071mc pro
    DMK 21AU.618.AS

  • Exposure

    RGB: 72 x 600 s
    L (DMK): 11000 x 0.8 s

    Total Integration: 14.4 h

  • Publication Date


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