Galaxy season is back, and I’m going hunting in the deep sky. Among tonight’s targets is NGC 5907, the “Splinter Galaxy” in the constellation Draco. Part of the NGC 5866 galaxy group, this edge-on spiral is 50 million light years away. At a length of 120,000 light years long, it’s one of the largest edge-on systems visible in a small telescope, with a mass of 250 billion Suns. NGC 5907 is well-known for its warped disk and a dramatic arc of stars that suggests a recent collision with another galaxy. It also lacks the number of giant stars expected of a spiral galaxy.
Observing Date: May 5, 2015; 10pm-midnight local time
Observing Notes: Difficult visually at 57x and 103x in 6″ reflector because of urban sky; galaxy is slender with high surface brightness. No dust lane visible. Moderate brightening near core. Arms are uneven and asymmetrically bright relative to core. Observed size about 12’x2′. Galaxy elongated NW-SE.
Imaging Notes: Snapped image with Mallincam Extreme with VRC6, Deep-Sky filter, AGC3, 120s exposure (see above).