Around the compact nucleus of NGC 300
AAO image reference AAT 57.    « Previous || Next »

NGC 300 nucleus, Sculptor group galaxy, ngc300.jpg
Top left is NE. Image width is about 8.5 arc min
Image and text © 1991-2010, Australian Astronomical Observatory, photograph by David Malin.

At the centre of the spiral arms of NGC 300 is an unusually compact, star-like nucleus. It is surrounded by a faint but extensive yellow haze, consisting of millions of faint, cool stars. This is the older population, or 'bulge' of NGC 300, a distant equivalent to the (much more numerous) stars that we see in our own galaxy as the brightest part of the Milky Way in Sagittarius.

This picture was made from the same set of three plates that were used for AAT 56 and AAT 56a and shows that the inner parts of the galaxy contain many compact clusters of bright stars and their associated nebulae. The galaxy is in the constellation of Sculptor, which in turn is the direction of the Galactic pole, where we look out from the Milky Way at right angles to the Galactic centre. This is why the image contains very few bright Milky Way stars.

Related Images
AAT 56.    Sculptor group galaxy NGC 300
AAT 56a.  Sculptor group galaxy NGC 300, wide field view
n0300_d   NGC 300, deep image
Constellation of Sculptor (external site)

For details of photographic exposure, search technical table by AAT reference number.

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Updated by David Malin, 2010, August 1