NGC 2997 Spiral Galaxy


clic for 42% size 1598 x 1096 (420 kB)

clic here for 70% size 2663 x 1826 (1020 kB)

About this Image

NGC2997 is a face-on spiral galaxies in the southern constelation Antlia. It is showing very well defined spiral arms and displays a dynamic appearance, appealing by the red and blue knots tracing the arms. The red knots are apparently diffuse gaseous nebulae in which star formation is just taking place, and which are excited to shine by its very hot young stars. The blue regions represent young stellar populations which have formed some dozens of million years ago.

Dark dust lanes follow the spiral structure throughout the disk, and may be traced well into the central region to the nucleus. NGC 2997 is particularly notable for a nucleus surrounded by a chain of hot giant clouds of ionized hydrogen. It is composed of an older yellowish stellar population which dominates the whole central region.
The galaxy forms a small physical group, the NGC2997 group, with the peculiar radio galaxy Centaurus A (NGC 5128) and with the galaxy M 83.

The distance to this galaxy measures 25 million light years.
North is up.

Compare a high quality (0.25") ESO image of this galaxy: 1.
Literature on NGC 2997 gas clouds: 2.
A faint background polar-ring galaxy is showing up at 11 h from the center within one of the galaxy arms, find a 200% size crop shown below.

polar ring galaxy

Technical Details


20 " Keller cassegrain in corrected secondary focus at f/9

Mount Liebscher GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M at -15C, 8-pos STL filter wheel
Filters Baader LRGB
Date May 01, 2008
Location IAS/Hakos Namibia
Sky Conditions dark skies, raw FWHM 1.3-1.5" temperature 15 C,
Exposure C:R:G:B = 30:30:30:50 minutes (10-minute sub-exposures);
all 1x1.
Programs used Maxim DL 4.5;
Photoshop CS3