Click here for a higher resolution image of NGC 1097 (840 Kb)

Click here for an inverted image showing the "jets" of NGC 1097



The Details
NGC 1097 in Fornax
Astro-Physics 12" Mak-Cass f/8
Astro-Physics 1600 Mount with absolute encoders
FLI 16803 Proline CCD
Tru-Balance LRGB Filters - Gen 2
Various dates from August to December 2014
Las Campanas Observatory, Chile
L 35 x 1200 sec 1x1 bin; RGB 14 each x 1200 sec, 1x1 bin
ACP, Maxim DL/CCD, CCDStack 2, Photoshop CS5
Field of View: 30' x 24' centered on RA 02h46m21.4s
DEC -30°15’04” (2000.0). North angle 359.7 °; east 90° CCW from north
NGC 1097 (also known as Arp 77) is a Seyfert-type barred spiral galaxy spanning about 125 thousand light-years across, located about 45 million light-years away in the southern constellation of Fornax.  At its center is a huge supermassive black hole approximately 100 million times the mass of our Sun.

NGC 1097 has two satellite galaxies. The larger of the two, dwarf elliptical galaxy NGC 1097A (the bean-shaped object at 1 o’clock from the galaxy’s core tucked in the space between two of the spiral arms), orbits 42,000 light-years from the center of NGC 1097.  It is gravitationally interacting with the NGC 1097 and will ultimately merge with it. The other, outermost one, NGC 1097B (not visible in this image), is a typical dwarf irregular galaxy.

NGC 1097 stands out among galaxies for its unique grouping of four “jets” forming an X-shape which seem to intersect at the core.  It’s believed that the jets are actually the shattered remains of a dwarf galaxy that was disrupted and cannibalized by the much larger NGC 1097 up to a few billion years ago.    Three of the four jets are visible in the above image and on the inverted image that can be viewed by clicking on the link below the image.  One of the jets clearly visible in the images, issuing out at a 10:30 o’clock direction from the galaxy core, has a curious 90° “dog-leg” bend to the right at it’s end.

Total exposure time was 25 hours 40 minutes. This image is the result of a collaborative effort between Howard Hedlund of Astro-Physics, Inc. and Dave Jurasevich.




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