NGC 4631 Galaxy Click on photo to return to 'Galaxies' Home
Other description: Very elongated galaxy,dust & bright knots.
Constellation: Canes Venatici
Dreyer description: Remarkable!, very bright, very large, extremely extended 70° +/-, brighter middle nucleus, 12th magnitude star attached north.
Size:14.0' x 2.0'
Discovered by William Herschel in 1787.
NGC 4631 is a huge edge-on spiral galaxy, which is apparently distorted by its small elliptical companion, NGC 4627. This pair has been included in Arp's Catalog of Peculiar Galaxies as Arp 281. Rich field telescopes show it in one field with its large, heavily distorted companion, NGC 4656; this galaxy seems to have interacted massively with NGC 4631: there's a bridge of hydrogene gas connecting both galaxies.
The name Herring Galaxy (or Nebula) is given in the interstellarum Deep Sky magazine (No. 3, May-July 1995), the name "Whale Galaxy" occurs in the Thompson & Bryan Supernova Search Charts series.
16" F/4.87 Newtonian , ST-8E, CFW8 6/15/02 Temp. = -25 C
Processing: CCDSharp; MaxIm; Stretch, align, color combine, histogram; PhotoImpact; final touchup