Astro Imaging & Dark Sky Preserve
NGC 7331 (also known as Caldwell 30) is a spiral galaxy about 50 million light-years away in the constellation Pegasus. It was discovered by William Herschel in 1784. NGC 7331 is the brightest member of the NGC 7331 Group of galaxies, however for astro astronomers it is quite dim with a magnitude of 10 or 11. One needs a fair size telescope to do it justice visually. There are many galaxys visible in this image. The cluster above NGC 7331 is about another 80 million light years further away.
The galaxy is similar in size and structure to the galaxy we inhabit, and is often referred to as "the Milky Way's twin", although recent discoveries regarding the structure of the Milky Way may call this similarity into doubt
In spiral galaxies the central bulge typically co-rotates with the disk but the bulge in the galaxy NGC 7331 is rotating in the opposite direction to the rest of the disk. The current bulge may have formed from infalling material, however if it has been there since the formation of the galaxy then it would be difficult to explain how such a situation arose.
This image was taken over the last three nights at my observatory and used a 14 inch modified DK SCT to gain full visual of this object. Total acquisition time was about 10 hours. I used an Apogee U16M all un binned. Processing was done in MaxIm, Pixinsight and PS CS5.
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