Sculptor Galaxy NGC 253 and Globular Cluster NGC 288

This Christmas Day image (according to Mountain Standard Time!) shows two objects that appear to be located right next to each other in the sky (separation 1.8), although in reality they are literally worlds apart: The globular cluster is just 27000 light years away and thus part of the halo surrounding our Milky Way, while the distance to the Sculptor Galaxy NGC 253 is approximately 10 million light years. Still, this makes NGC 253 one of our not-too-distant neighbors. It was discovered by Caroline Herschel, the sister of the famous musician-astronomer Wilhelm (William) Herschel who discovered the planet Uranus in 1781.
This image was featured in the September 2003 issue of Sky and Telescope (p. 99).


Instrument Vixen R200SS (8" f/4 Newtonian with coma corrector) on Losmandy G-11 mount
Guiding ST-4 autoguider
Film Kodak PJ400
Date 26 Dec. 2002, 02:17 - 02:55 and 02:57 - 03:37 UTC
Site Chiricahua National Monument (Faraway Ranch parking lot)
Processing Two images processed and stacked in The Gimp
Comments Temperature -10 C (14 F), high humidity


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