The cluster of galaxies in Fornax - wide field
AAO image reference UKS 13a.    « Previous || Next »

Fornax galaxy cluster
Top left is NE. Image width is about 4 degrees
Image and text © 2001-2010, Australian Astronomical Observatory
Photograph from UK Schmidt plates by David Malin.


Galaxies can be separated by their appearance into two broad groups, spirals and ellipticals. An example of a spiral galaxy, NGC 1365, is seen near the centre of this picture. In contrast, most of the galaxies in this cluster are ellipticals, which contain little or no gas or evidence of star formation; indeed they are composed millions of rather old, yellowish stars. Unlike many of the stars in spiral systems, those in ellipticals have orbits which are not confined to a narrow plane, so the galaxy can have a shape anywhere between a perfect sphere and an American football. This kind of galaxy is the most common type in the photograph as it is in all of the nearby Universe. The picture also illustrates another distinctive property of ellipticals, their gregarious nature - they congregate in clusters, like this group of galaxies in Fornax, 60 million light years distant.

This wide field version of the image used for UKS 13 also shows us another, less common kind of galaxy. In the lower right corner is NGC 1316-17. This is interacting pair of galaxies is one of the strongest nearby radio galaxies, known as Fornax A. Finally, in the opposite corner is a bright yellow (K5) 4.5 magnitude star in the adjoining constellation of Eridanus. We also have a much deeper images of several of these galaxies that shows that they are much bigger than appear on the colour pictures.
Constellation of Fornax (external site)

Below are listed the NGC objects in this photograph listed in NGC 2000.0 (R.W. Sinnott, Ed.) © Sky Publishing Corporation, 1988:
NGC 1316  Gx 03 22.7  -37 12 s  For7.18.9  vB, cL, vlE, vsvmbMN 
NGC 1317  Gx 03 22.8  -37 06 s  For3.2  11.0  pB, pS, psbM 
NGC 1365  Gx 03 33.6  -36 08 s  For9.89.5  !! vB, vL, mE, rN 
NGC 1369- 03 34.1  -36 17 r  For  F  
NGC 1373  Gx 03 35.1  -35 11 r  For  eF, vS, p of 3 
NGC 1375  Gx 03 35.2  -35 16 s  For1.9  B, S, lE, pmbM, 3rd of 3
NGC 1374  Gx 03 35.3  -35 14 s  For1.8  12. p vB, pL, lE, gmbM, 2nd of 3 
NGC 1378  D* 03 35.9  -35 12 r  For  F  
NGC 1379  Gx 03 36.1  -35 27 s  For2.0  12. p glob. cl. , B, pL, R, gpmbM
NGC 1380  Gx 03 36.5  -34 59 s  For4.9  11. p vB, L, R, psbM
NGC 1380A 03 36.8  -34 44 For
NGC 1381  Gx 03 36.6  -35 18 s  For2.9  12. p F  
NGC 1392  Gx 03 36.8  -36 16 r  Eri  vF, pS, R
NGC 1386  Gx 03 36.9  -36 00 s  Eri3.5  12. p F  
NGC 1387  Gx 03 37.0  -35 31 s  For2.4  12. p glob. cl. , vB, pL, R, gmbM
NGC 1382  Gx 03 37.1  -35 12 c  For2.1  F  
NGC 1389  Gx 03 37.2  -35 45 s  Eri2.1  13. p F  
NGC 1396- 03 38.1  -35 40 r  Eri  F  
NGC 1399  Gx 03 38.5  -35 27 s  For3.29.9  glob. cl. , vB, pL, psbM, rr
NGC 1404  Gx 03 38.9  -35 35 s  For2.5  10.3  vB, pL, R, psmbM  
NGC 1408- 03 39.4  -35 31 r  For  F 
The hotlinked NGC and IC names lead to More information on the galaxies which is reproduced
by permission from the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED).
See also NED data for the Fornax cluster

Related images
AAT 55.      The barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365
AAT 118.     NGC 1316-17, the radio galaxy Fornax A
UKS 13.      The Fornax cluster of galaxies
fornax_cl_d  The Fornax cluster of galaxies
n1365_d      Deep image of NGC 1365
n1399_d      NGC 1399 and NGC 1404

For details of object position and photographic exposure, search technical table by UKS reference number.

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Updated by David Malin, 2010, July 25