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NGC 300 - a spiral galaxy in the constellation Sculptor and 2 galaxy clusters

Object description:

NGC 300 is a galaxy with a prominent Sc-type spiral structure in the constellation Sculptor. It has an apparent size of 19 × 13 arcminutes in the sky, almost 2/3 the area of the full moon seen with the naked eye. Morphologically, it is very similar to our Milky Way, but with a diameter of 45 000 light years, it is much smaller. The fact that it appears relatively large in the sky is due to its - cosmologically - short distance of about 6.5 million light years from the solar system.

NGC 300 is the brightest of the five larger spiral galaxies that lie in the direction of the Sculptor group of galaxies. Until recently they were seen as members of the Sculptor group, but today it is considered a fact that they are only foreground galaxies. One of the 5 brighter galaxies is NGC 55, which is only about a million light years away from NGC 300, so the two probably form a gravitationally bound pair and merge in a few million years.
In addition to NGC 300, our image shows the two large galaxy clusters Abell 4178 and Abell 4182. Both clusters contain about 50 galaxies, the distances to our Milky Way are several hundred million light years.

In 2010, ESO astronomers found a stellar black hole in NGC 300. It is orbited by a Wolf -Rayet star, making it a truly exotic object. NGC 300 was discovered on 5 August 1826 by the Scottish astronomer James Dunlop, who was observing from Australia.

Detailed information on EOS's NGC 300 can be found here and a report on the discovery of the black hole with the Wolf -Rayet star here.

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