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NGC 4631

Barred spiral galaxy in constellation of Canes Venatici.

The whale galaxy, or NGC 4631, is a barred spiral galaxy at a distance of about 28 million light years from the Milky Way. Its apparent visual brightness is 9.0 mag.

NGC 4631
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Object: NGC 4631
Date of exposures: 31.03.2019, 01.04.2019
Distance: 28 Mio. Lightyears
Exposures: Luminance: 42 x 180", RGB: 38 x 180", sum: 4,0 hrs.
Telescope: 10'', F4 Newton
Focal length: 1000mm
Filter: Astrodon LRGB E-Series
Camera: ASI 1600 MMC Pro
Guiding: Off Axis Guider, Lodestar
Mount: EQ8

NGC 4627 is a companion galaxy of the whale galaxy (NGC 4631) and lies about 2.6' northwest of its center; the two galaxies are listed together in the Arp catalogue as Arp 281. The small neighbouring galaxy NGC 4627 causes a certain deformation of the whale galaxy. In addition, it seems to have come close to the neighbouring galaxy NGC 4656/57 more than once in the past. Hydrogen and other gas remnants between the two galaxies still bear witness to this today.

The whale galaxy is about the size of the Milky Way and was discovered by William Herschel on March 20, 1787.

Of particular interest is the hot gas halo that surrounds the galaxy and extends to a distance of 25,000 light years from the galactic plane. High-resolution images of the halo's X-ray emission were obtained from the Chandra research satellite. It is assumed that the Milky Way is also surrounded by a similar halo.

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