NGC 1398, a large, barred spiral galaxy in Fornax

 
NGC 1398, a large, barred spiral galaxy in Fornax

Image Credit & Copyright: Adam Block/Sean & Renee Stecker/NOAO/AURA/NSF (http://www.caelumobservatory.com/obs/bestofaop.shtml)

NGC 1398 is a large, barred spiral galaxy with a diameter of approximately 135,000 light-years, located about 65 million light-years away in the constellation Fornax, and it is part of the Fornax cluster of galaxies. NGC 1398 has a mass of some 300 billion solar masses. It is moving away from us at roughly 1400 kilometers per second.

It is a strikingly symmetric galaxy that features a bar with a very bright central bulge and a dense bright inner ring with a rope-like structure. The ring is actually two spiral arms that are closed in on each other. In contrast to its well-defined center, NGC 1398 has rather faint, patchy, or flocculent, nearly circular spiral arms which start tangent to the ring and extend out close to a full revolution, accented by bright regions.

NGC 1398 had one known supernova explosion, northeast of its nucleus: SN 1996N

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