Astrophotography by Kent Biggs







  NGC 6975, 6976, 6977, & 6978



NGC 6975-6978 are a group of close and likely interacting galaxies.  Also called Hickson 88, this group's members are all spiral galaxies.  Dr. Paul Hickson, a Canadian Astronomer, created a now famous list of about 100 groups in order to study galaxies close together to see if they are the same distance from us (using their spectra to measure red shift).  If galaxies are visually close together and the same distance from us, then they are presumed to be physically close to each other and likely gravitationally interacting with each other often showing structural disturbances or even bridges of stellar material connecting them.  All of these galaxies are close to each other, but even wth the over processed image below, there is no discernable material connecting the glaxies.  Note that the glare (light rays) eminating from the lower left of the image are due to a bright star just outside of the field.



Celestron C11 F/10 (2800mm Focal Length)
SBIG ST10XME with Adaptive Optics
LRGB = 180:50:50:70 minutes


September 15, 2006
Columbus, Texas
Kent E. Biggs