24 November 2016 | NGC 7497

NGC 7497

Credit: David Dvali | Click to enlarge

Image Data
  • Location: Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory, Georgia
  • Date: October 2016
  • Camera: QSI 660wsg-8
  • Optics: Takahashi FSQ106EDXIII
  • Mount: iOptron CEM60
  • Exposure: LRGB 6,7 hours total

NGC 7497 is located in the constellation of Pegasus at approximately 60 million light years away. It is a spiral galaxy and there’s tantalising hints of other galaxies in the field of view. The galaxy itself is seen against a spectacular foreground of Integrated Flux nebula (IFN).

This area of IFN is known as MBM 54 which is a faint molecular cloud located about 900 light years from our solar system. The galaxy itself is over 60,000 times further away than the foreground IFN, but they look harmoniously joined.

The IFN (or galactic cirrus as it is often called) is made up of low density dust and particles and is illuminated by the residual light of our galaxy. IFN are huge swathes of soft nebulous filaments that extend to the high galactic latitudes of the Milky Way.

While IFN was first photographed on an optical plate at the Palomar Observatory in 1965, the huge extent of it wasn’t known for some time, largely due to the difficulty in photographing it as it’s so dim. This particular area of IFN was first discovered in 1984 by the IRAS infrared satellite, and in 1985 it was catalogued by Magnani, Blitz and Mundy and now constitutes the MBM catalogue.

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