The starburst galaxy NGC 1313
AAO image reference AAT 64.    « Previous || Next »

Starburst irregular galaxy, NGC 1313, ngc1313.jpg
Top left is NE. Image width is about 11 arc min
Image and text © 1992-2010, Australian Astronomical Observatory, photograph by David Malin.


In visible light, NGC 1313 in the southern constellation of Reticulum seems to be dominated by scattered patches of star formation which give our picture a rather ragged appearance. The clouds of bluish stars seem to have burst into existence at random, without the normal trigger gravitational interaction or even a distinct spiral to prompt them. Star formation seems to have occurred in a series of irregular, self-sustaining bursts. However, a very deep image shows that the outer parts of galaxy are also very disturbed.

Seen with a radio telescope, the galaxy is rich in hydrogen, the raw material of stars, and the gas circulates around the centre of the galaxy in a well ordered way, apparently hardly affected by the starburst activity or other irregularities that so colour our visual impression of this unusual galaxy. NGC 1313 is at a distance of about 15 million light years, close enough for some of its brightest stars to be seen as individuals.

Related Images
AAT 64a.   The starburst galaxy NGC 1313, wide field
n1313_d    NGC 1313, deep image
Constellation of Reticulum (external site)

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Updated by David Malin, 2010, August 1