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Harel Boren | all galleries >> Galaxies > M64 NGC 4826 The Black Eye Galaxy / Sleeping Beauty Galaxy in Coma Berenices
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M64 NGC 4826 The Black Eye Galaxy / Sleeping Beauty Galaxy in Coma Berenices
Feb. 4, 2009 Harel Boren

M64 NGC 4826 The Black Eye Galaxy / Sleeping Beauty Galaxy in Coma Berenices

Israel, Hazan Caves

This spiral galaxy was discovered by Edward Pigott on March 23, 1779, just 12 days before Johann Elert Bode found it independently on April 4, 1779. Roughly a year later, Charles Messier has rediscovered it on March 1, 1780 and cataloged it as M64. Its distance from Earth is ~17 million light-years, its diameter ~51,000 light years, and its visual magnitude is 8.5.

M64 is said be the end product of a merger of two other galaxies, perhaps more than one billion years ago. The galaxy has received its name due to the dark lane of dust lining its inner near-side which give it its "black-eye" appearance. William Herschel, who discovered this feature, observed it twice (in 1785 and 1789), and has already compared it to a "Black Eye." The feature comprises huge dust clouds associated with star formation. Obscuring the light from stars behind them, they give a notion of the galaxy's position, i.e. that the dark lane lays in the direction of Earth. Another interesting feature of M64 is its counter-rotating star systems - the inner 3000 light years region rotating at about 300 km/sec. in the opposite direction of the other system extending to 40,000 light-years.

Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi ,LXD75 SN10, IDAS LPS, Badder MPCC
11 exposures x 3 min @ ISO 800 full exif

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