Amateur astronomer captures gravitational streamers from galaxy

Posted by David Eicher
on Tuesday, May 28, 2013

NGC 5907 imaged with a TEC 140mm f/7 apochromatic refractor, a FLI ML 8300 CCD camera, Baader filters, and 21.5 hours of total exposure time on May 1, 3, 4, and 5, 2013, from WhistleStop Observatory, Grafton, Ontario, Canada. // Credit: Lynn Hilborn
Astroimager Lynn Hilborn of the WhistleStop Observatory in Grafton, Ontario, Canada, sent me this fantastic image of the galaxy NGC 5907 in Draco, which is sometimes called the Splinter Galaxy.

“Some time ago in an editorial, you requested astrophotographers to consider some of the rarer objects for possible inclusion in the magazine,” wrote Lynn. “I was delighted to pick up the extended stellar tidal stream around the galaxy after 21.5 hours of imaging with my modest TEC140 and FLI ML 8300 camera.”

The faint tidal stream is visible as a ghostly, C-shaped loop to the left of the galaxy.

That is an absolutely amazing shot — to capture the streamers of gas coming off the galaxy from gravitational interactions is fantastic. The galaxy lies at a distance of about 42 million light-years.

Congratulations, Lynn!!

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