NGC 908, spiral galaxy in Cetus
AAO image reference AATCCD 10.     « Previous || Next »

NGC 908
Top left is NE. Image width is about 7 arc min
Image and text © 1999-2002, Australian Astronomical Observatory, Photograph by S. Lee, C. Tinney and D. Malin.


NGC 908 is a starburst galaxy, one that is undergoing a period of intense star formation. This is why it has numerous clumps of bright stars in its spiral arms and appears so bright on our photograph. It is also asymmetrical, with a peculiar split in the spiral arm on the left (eastern) side of the galaxy. Both these characteristics usually mean the galaxy has been disturbed by some massive intruder, usually another galaxy, but none is evident on the photograph or in the wider field around NGC 908.

This does not mean there is no other galaxy involved. NGC 908 may have been disturbed by a galaxy that is massive but faint, or the intruder may have been destroyed or absorbed in the encounter. It may also be hidden by being in the line of sight, behind the galaxy. It is quite possible that (for example) someone looking at the Milky Way from the Andromeda galaxy would not be able to see either of the Magellanic Clouds which have a disturbing influence on our galaxy.

Entry from NGC 2000.0 (R.W. Sinnott, Ed.) © Sky Publishing Corporation, 1988:
NGC  908  Gx 02 23.1  -21 14 s  Cet5.5  10.2  cB, vL, E  
For details of object position and photographic exposure, search technical table by AAT reference number.


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