NGc 6674
NGC 6674 - A Gem Amongst Jewels
Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 6674 is truly a gem amongst jewels. It is far, far behind a very densely populated area of the sky in our galaxy. Over a thousand "foreground" stars can be seen here that are part of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. The color of the foreground stars range from very hot blue and white stars to cooler yellow, orange and red stars. Note the extremely red star in the far low right of the image. NGC 6674 appears behind these stars in a stunning optical illusion that makes it appear to be part of them. Its own star systems are also composed of some 200 - 400 billion stars of varying colors. Clearly visible is a distinct barred structure with a nearly complete inner ring connecting the two bars. Stars in this area of the galaxy are likely older and redder. Stars in the arms are younger indicating more recent formation out of the dust and gas, perhaps perturbed by a relatively recent merger with another galaxy. At the center of this galaxy as with most galaxies is one or more supper massive black holes influencing the galactic structure and rotation. If you look closely you may see several satellite galaxies in this image. Also visible in the upper left is a partial blue circle caused by a very bright star just out of the image. That very bright star GSC 2111:330 is magnitude 7.8, or more than 5 times fainter than what the human eye can see. The brightest star in this image (cut off at far left) is magnitude 10.5 or about 60 times fainter than we can see with our eyes. Note you may click on the image to see a larger version showing more details. The stats for NGC 6674 are as follows: Coordinates RA: 18h 38m 33.8s Dec: +25° 22' 30", magnitude: 13.0, size: 4.0'x2.2', and galaxy class: SB(r)b.
Optics: RC Optical System 20" F/8.2 (4165.6 mm Focal Length) Date: July 2009
Camera: SBIG ST10XME with Adaptive Optics Location: Columbus, Texas
Exposure: LRGB = 360:80:80:80 minutes Imager: Kent E. Biggs