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HAWK-I image of NGC 4030
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Name: NGC 4030
Description: Spiral Galaxy
Position (J2000): RA 12h 0m 23.69s Dec -1° 5' 59.13"
Constellation: Virgo
Distance: 75 million light years
Visual magnitude: 10.6
Angular size: 3.8 2.9 arcmin
Field of view: 6.48 x 6.46 arcminutes
Orientation: North is 0.2° right of vertical
Image Credit: ESO/P. Grosbøl
Release date: October 27, 2010
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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

This spiral galaxy, NGC 4030, lies about 75 million light-years from Earth, in the constellation of Virgo. It was discovered on January 1, 1786 by William Herschel. In 2007 Takao Doi, a Japanese astronaut who doubles as an amateur astronomer, spotted a supernova — a stellar explosion that is briefly almost as bright as its host galaxy — going off in this galaxy.

The image was made in infrared light with the HAWK-I camera on ESO’s Very Large Telescope at Paranal Observatory in Chile. HAWK-I is one of the most powerful infrared imagers in the world, and this is one of the sharpest and most detailed pictures of this galaxy ever taken from Earth. The filters used were Y (shown here in blue), J (in green), H (in orange), and K (in red). The field of view of the image is about 6.4 arcminutes across.

From Wikipedia:

NGC 4030 is a grand design spiral galaxy located about 64 million light years away in the constellation Virgo. With an apparent visual magnitude of 10.6, it is visible with a small telescope as a 3 arc minute wide feature about 4.75° to the southeast of the star Beta Virginis. It is inclined by an angle of 47.1° to the line of sight from the Earth and is receding at a velocity of 1,465 km/s.

The morphological classification of NGC 4030 in the De Vaucouleurs system is SA(s)bc, which indicates a spiral structure (SA) with no bar (s) and moderate to loosely wound arms (bc). The inner part of the galaxy shows a complex structure with multiple spiral arms, which becomes a symmetric, double arm pattern beyond 49? from the core. The central bulge is relatively young with an estimated age of two billion years, while the nucleus is inactive.

In 2007, a supernova explosion was discovered in the galaxy from images taken on February 19 from the 1 m Swope telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. Designated SN 2007aa, it was a type IIP supernova positioned 68?.5 north and 60?.8 east of the galactic nucleus. The progenitor was a red giant star with 8.5–16.5 times the mass of the Sun.