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NGC 6876, NGC 6872 and NGC 6880 - the Pavo-I group of Galxies

Object description:

Our image shows the smaller galaxy group Pavo-I in the constellation Peacock (Pavo). The galaxy cluster contains about 10 galaxies, its centre is NGC 6876 - it is the brightest galaxy. The group has the catalogue number LGG 342 (Lyons Group of Galaxies). The distance is apparently only uncertain, the information varies between 170 and 300 million light years, depending on the reference source. The main members of this group are NGC 6872, NGC 6876 and NGC 6880, so the group is quite comparable to the local group of galaxies around the Milky Way. However, our image also shows many other, fainter and more distant galaxies with many different shapes in the field.

NGC 6872 - the Condor Galaxy

NGC 6872 is a spectacular barred spiral galaxy that has the shape of an "integral sign". It is of type SBb and is accompanied by the smaller interacting galaxy, IC 4970 of type S0 (just above the centre). The upper left spiral arm of NGC 6872 is considerably disturbed, this may have been caused by a recent passage of IC 4970 through NGC 6872. The distance of NGC 6872 is apparently only imprecisely known. Wikipedia gives a distance of about 200 million light years, other observations (ESO 1999, see here give a distance of 300 million light years. Either way, this makes it the second largest barred galaxy in the visible universe to date. From tip to tip of the spiral arms, it measures between 500,000 and 750,000 light years, depending on the distance.
NGC 6876

NGC 6876 is an elliptical galaxy of Hubble type E3. It is the brightest member of the NGC 6872 galaxy group (LGG 432), which consists of about ten galaxies.

NGC 6880

NGC 6880 is a Hubble-type SB0/a lenticular galaxy. Together with IC 4981 it forms a gravitationally bound pair of galaxies and is considered a member of the ten galaxy NGC 6876 group. All 3 large galaxies were discovered by John Herschel on 27 June 1835.

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