Spiral Galaxy in Coma Berenices

February 23, 2008


Provided by: Nikos Paschalis
Summary and Editors: Nikos Paschalis, Stu Witmer

The photo above shows the spiral galaxy known as the Needle Galaxy (NGC 4565) in the constellation of Coma Berenices The constellation’s name, “Berenice's Hair,” is Latin and has its origin with a mythological Egyptian Queen. William Herschel discovered the galaxy in 1785. This photograph was taken from Skiathos Island, Greece on April 18, 2007. NGC 4565 is one of the brightest members of the Coma I galaxy cloud, and is the largest “edge-on” spiral galaxy observable from Earth. It has an apparent magnitude of 9.6 and an angular size of 12 x 1.5 arc-minutes. It is about 31 million light years distant.