NGC 6902 Caught by SPECULOOS

Eso_potw1908a_1024

eso_potw1908a February 25th, 2019

Credit: ESO

This Picture of the Week is a special treat: a first-light image from the newest resident of ESOs Paranal Observatory, the SPECULOOS Southern Observatory. This planet-hunting machine aims to observe nearby but dim stars to locate exoplanets for other telescopes such as ESOs forthcoming Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) to study in detail. Comprising four one-metre telescopes, each named after one of Jupiters Galilean moons, SPECULOOS promises to open up new frontiers in exoplanet research. This image, however, is obviously not of a faint star, but of a galaxy called NGC 6902. Before a telescope starts its primary mission it must successfully undertake an event called first light: the first time it is used for a scientific observation. Astronomers typically pick well-known objects for this initial test of a telescopes capabilities, which is half demonstration and half celebration. In this case, the team settled on NGC 6902 as the first-light target for the Ganymede telescope. The result was this stunning image of the spiral galaxy, which is found about 120 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Sagittarius (The Archer). The galaxys spiral arms swirl outwards from a bright centre until they dissolve into streams of blue haze at the galaxys edge. If this is what Ganymede can produce as its first observation of something it wasnt even designed to image, we have a lot to look forward to. Watch this space!

Provider: European Southern Observatory

Image Source: https://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1908a/

Curator: European Southern Observatory, Garching bei München, None, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
NGC 6902
Subject - Local Universe
Galaxy > Type > Spiral
Eso_potw1908a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 20h 24m 28.5s
DEC = -43° 39’ 3.6”
Orientation
North is 0.2° CCW
Field of View
10.6 x 10.6 arcminutes
Constellation
Sagittarius

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_luminosity SPECULOOS Southern Observatory (None) Optical (None) -
Eso_potw1908a_1280
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ID
potw1908a
Subject Category
C.5.1.1  
Subject Name
NGC 6902
Credits
ESO
Release Date
2019-02-25T06:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1908a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
SPECULOOS Southern Observatory
Instrument
None
Color Assignment
Luminosity
Band
Optical
Bandpass
None
Central Wavelength
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
None
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
306.118792433, -43.6509960694
Reference Dimension
1835.0, 1838.0
Reference Pixel
917.5, 919.0
Scale
-9.64546789355e-05, 9.64546789355e-05
Rotation
0.20000000000000009
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
European Southern Observatory
URL
http://www.eso.org
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2
City
Garching bei München
State/Province
None
Postal Code
D-85748
Country
Germany
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
European Southern Observatory
Publisher ID
eso
Resource ID
potw1908a
Metadata Date
2019-02-03T19:09:40+01:00
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.