A double discovery

Esahubble_potw1734a_500

esahubble_potw1734a August 21st, 2017

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

NGC 178 may be small, but it packs quite a punch. Measuring around 40 000 light-years across, its diameter is less than half that of the Milky Way, and it is accordingly classified as a dwarf galaxy. Despite its diminutive size, NGC 178 is busy forming new stars. On average, the galaxy forms stars totalling around half the mass of the Sun per year enough to label it a starburst galaxy. The galaxys discovery is an interesting, and somewhat confusing, story. It was originally discovered by American astronomer Ormond Stone in 1885 and dubbed NGC 178, but its position in the sky was recorded incorrectly by accident the value for the galaxys right ascension (which can be thought of as the celestial equivalent of terrestrial longitude) was off by a considerable amount. In the years that followed NGC 178 was spotted again, this time by French astronomer Stphane Javelle. As no catalogued object occupied that position in the sky, Javelle believed he had discovered a new galaxy and entered it into the expanded Index Catalogue under the name IC 39. Later, American astronomer Herbert Howe also observed the object and corrected Stones initial mistake. Many years later, astronomers finally noticed that NGC 178 and IC 39 were actually the same object! This image of NGC 178 comprises data gathered by the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 aboard the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Image Source: https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1734a/

Curator: ESA/Hubble, Garching bei München, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
IC 39 NGC 178
Subject - Local Universe
Galaxy » Size » Dwarf
Esahubble_potw1734a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 0h 39m 8.3s
DEC = -14° 10’ 31.8”
Orientation
North is 55.5° CCW
Field of View
1.8 x 1.2 arcminutes
Constellation
Cetus

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_blue Hubble Space Telescope (WFPC2) Optical (U) 300.0 nm
Arrow_left_green Hubble Space Telescope (WFPC2) Optical (U) 300.0 nm
Arrow_left_green Hubble Space Telescope (WFPC2) Optical (I) 814.0 nm
Arrow_left_red Hubble Space Telescope (WFPC2) Optical (I) 814.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Arrow_top_blue
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_red
Esahubble_potw1734a_1280
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ID
potw1734a
Subject Category
C.5.2.2  
Subject Name
IC 39, NGC 178
Credits
ESA/Hubble & NASA
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1734a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope
Instrument
WFPC2, WFPC2, WFPC2, WFPC2
Color Assignment
Blue, Green, Green, Red
Band
Optical, Optical, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
U, U, I, I
Central Wavelength
300, 300, 814, 814
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
9.78451379407, -14.1755062736
Reference Dimension
1103.0, 734.0
Reference Pixel
551.5, 367.0
Scale
-2.77925963022e-05, 2.77925963022e-05
Rotation
55.539999999999928
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
ESA/Hubble
URL
http://www.spacetelescope.org
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2
City
Garching bei München
State/Province
Postal Code
D-85748
Country
Germany
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
ESA/Hubble
Publisher ID
esahubble
Resource ID
potw1734a
Metadata Date
2017-06-16T12:50:25+02:00
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

 

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There is no distance meta data in this image.