Sunday, March 04, 2007

Hickson 44c

Hickson 44c is a 13th magnitude spiral galaxy about 70,000,000 light years away in the neck of Leo and is part of the gravitationally bound Hickson 44 cluster. Unfortunately the entire group (spanning around 15') cannot be captured on a single frame from the Faulkes telescope because of its size. HCG44d looks like it will be an interesting target when we return to image it later. As will HCG44a, which gave a rare birth to 2, almost simultaneous, super novae back in 2002 - SN 2002b0 in March, and SN2002cv in May - discovered by a group of Italian astronomers whilst observing SN 2002bo! Normally, astronomers expect one supernova per century in any given galaxy, so this was a rare event indeed.


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