NGC 7331 and the Deer Lick Group (Galaxies in Pegasus )


NGC 7331, UGC 12113, Magnitude 9.5, Size 10.2' x 4.2'

Image Details:

Comments: Bright NGC 7331 provides quite a contrast to dim Stephan's Quintet, which lies about half a degree to the south. This galaxy is bright enough to show up in 8 inch scopes from pretty horridly light polluted sites, if only as an elongated smudge. This group (don't ask me why it's called the Deer Lick...maybe the little NGC galaxies represent deer grazing at the cosmic salt-lick of NGC 7331) presents some high challenges for large aperture amateur scopes, however. In addition to the four little galaxies hovering near this big near-edge-on Sb spiral, the main galaxy offers details aplenty including dust lanes and an asymmetric looking spiral arm. In the C11, visually, from a dark site, I can just make out the deer--with some hard observing.

NGC 7331 is often presented as an example of what our Milky Way would look like from afar (7331 lies approximately 60 million light years from Earth).

Capturing the main galaxy easily with the C8 and the DSI was not a huge surprise. I was slightly impressed that the camera had also brought home the "deer." I was frankly amazed, examing the frame, however, that I'd also recorded some forbiddingly dim little ghosts of galaxies in the same field.

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