« back to overview Galaxies Load higher resolution (1800 x 1200 Pixel)  (3500 x 2300 Pixel) Object description
NGC 6822 - Barnard's Galaxy, an irregular dwarf galaxy in the local group

Object description:

The galaxy NGC 6822 NGC 6822 in the constellation Sagittarius is an irregularly shaped dwarf galaxy with a - north-south oriented - central bar. It was discovered on 17.08.1884 by Edward Emerson Barnard, who became famous for his catalogue of galactic dark nebulae. The galaxy is about 1.6 million light-years away and the third closest galaxy in the Local Group after the two Magellanic Clouds. NGC 6822 contains only 10 million stars distributed over a diameter of 8000 light years. Due to the relatively small distance, a large number of stars and reddish nebulae can be resolved in our image.

Edwin Hubble examined the galaxy in 1925 and was able to detect 11 Cepheids, from which he determined the distance to NGC 6822. Barnard's galaxy, along with M 31 and M 33, is one of the first star systems outside our Milky Way whose distance was determined using this method.

There is a very interesting article by Wolfgang Steinicke on the history of the discovery of Barnard and NGC 6822, which you can read here as a pdf-file (only in german language).

Here we also show a more detailed view of NGC 6822, taken with a longer focal length.

Further readings:

Sun Moon Solar System DeepSky Widefield Miscellaneous Spec. Projects