NGC 7070A Shell Galaxy in Grus

At an estimated distance of 104 million light years, the obscure peculiar shell elliptical galaxy NGC 7070A can be found in the constellation Grus.
Discovered in 1834 by John Herschel, it is characterised by a central dust lane and multiple tidal shells, which were first uncovered in deep images by the astronomers David Malin and David Carter in 1983.
They also revealed shells around a large number of elliptical galaxies, which were published as a catalogue of elliptical galaxies with shells.

The dust lane was first noticed in 1981 in a survey for dust lanes in ellipticals. The bizarre appearance could be considered a downscaled replica of the well known galaxy Centaurus A and has been explained by professional astronomers as a merger between an elliptical galaxy and a gas rich spiral galaxy that took place about 1 billion years ago. They also postulate that this same event generated the multiple shells that can be observed around the bright core.
It also has a companion galaxy called NGC 7070 (not visible in image), which is a barred spiral galaxy that is separated from NGC 7070A by a distance of 21 arcminutes in the sky and about 636,000 light years in space. 
(Caption by Sakib Rasool)

Image data:
LRGB (400-160-160-160 min) total 14.7 h, north is up, seeing 0.8-1.2 arc-sec,
80cm f/7 Astrooptik Keller cassegrain, FLI PL-16803, Astrodon LRGB GenII filters, Prompt 7 CTIO Chile

Processing: Johannes Schedler

Find the partly cropped image in 30/90% size below and at bottom an inverted stretched version in 60% size of the center part.

click for 90% size

Last modified on Friday, 13 October 2017 20:33

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