NGC 5985, NGC 5982 and NGC 5981: a galaxy trio in Draco
The Cosmos out there is full of beauty. Even to the naked eyes, stargazing is always a wonderful trip: looking up, pushing your sight far deep both in space and time is a mind-blow personal experience, no matter how much you know of the Universe.
To me, one can enjoy the experience of the sky even without any scientific background, as an aesthetic vision; of course, science adds further emotions and the feeling of discovery, as soon as you understand what is that object that glows in the deep, dark space.
While there are literally billions of destinations, some corners of the sky are generous enough to bring to you some further benefits, putting together different beauties and objects, all this in a small patch of heaven.
This is what comes to my mind when I think of these three galaxies NGC 5981, 5982 and 5985: all of them are located in the northern constellation of Draco, at the distance of about 100 millions of light years. NGC 5985 – the most apparent object of the trio – is a very beautiful, face-on spiral galaxy and it is classified as an active, Seyfert galaxy, while NGC 5982 – in the center of the field of view – is an elliptical galaxy; the third galaxy, NGC 5981 is an edge-on spiral. All around, there are countless, small and very distant galaxies, with a limiting magnitude of about mag. 22.
The image above is the average of 16, 360-seconds exposures, remotely taken with the PlaneWave 17 robotic unit. All exposures were unguided, trusting the tracking capabilities of the Paramount ME robotic mount, and were acquired at the original, hi-res scale of 0.63″/pixel. The final image was re-scaled to 0.9″/pixels.
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