Pictures of the Sculptor Galaxy
Pictures and facts about the Sculptor galaxy, located 13 million lightyears away.
The Sculptor Galaxy, also known as NGC 253 or the Silver Dollar Galaxy, is one of the brightest galaxies visible in the night sky and is located 13 million lightyears away.
It is a spiral galaxy that can be seen in the Southern Hemisphere sky in the Sculptor constellation and was discovered by astronomer Caroline Herschel in 1783.
It is part of the Sculptor Group - a group of galaxies similar to the Local Group, in which our own galaxy the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy and the Triangulum Galaxy reside - and is its brightest member.
The Sculptor Galaxy is so bright because it's what’s known as a ‘starburst galaxy’, meaning it is undergoing very high rates of star formation.
While the Sculptor Galaxy appears slightly edge-on as seen from Earth, it is not quite as edge-on as the Needle Galaxy or NGC 891, for example, and its spiral structure is certainly visible in astrophotos.
The galaxy’s thick dust lanes are clearly visible too. This is an incredibly dusty galaxy, and this abundance of cosmic dust feeds the high rates of star formation that give the Sculptor Galaxy is starburst status.
Below is a selection of images of the Sculptor Galaxy captured by BBC Sky at Night Magazine readers and astrophotographers.
For more on photographing galaxies, read our guide to deep-sky astrophotography or discover our pick of the best astrophotography cameras.
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