Astrophoto Lab
--- your online source for astronomical & satellite images ---

Spiral, Elliptical, Irregular
General Information
Special Galleries
Deep Space
Stars, Supernovae
Solar System
Earth from Space
NASA Space Programs
Other Astro Images
Space Image Gallery
Useful Links
Credits & Useage
Name: IC 10
Description: Irregular Galaxy
Position (J2000): RA 0h 20m 19.53s Dec 59° 18' 27.50"
Constellation: Cassiopeia
Distance: 2 million light years
Visual magnitude: 10.4
Angular size: 6.8 × 5.9 arcmin
Field of view: 5.10 x 2.87 arcminutes
Orientation: North is 59.7° right of vertical
Image Credit: NASA, ESA and F. Bauer
Release date: June 17, 2019
Click the image to buy a print


This image shows an irregular galaxy named IC 10, a member of the Local Group - a grouping of over 50 galaxies within our cosmic neighborhood that includes the Milky Way.

IC 10 is a remarkable object. It is the closest-known starburst galaxy to us, meaning that it is undergoing a furious bout of star formation fueled by ample supplies of cool hydrogen gas. This gas condenses into vast molecular clouds, which then form into dense knots where pressures and temperatures reach a point sufficient to ignite nuclear fusion, thus giving rise to new generations of stars.

As an irregular galaxy, IC 10 lacks the majestic shape of spiral galaxies such as the Milky Way, or the rounded, ethereal appearance of elliptical galaxies. It is a faint object, despite its relative proximity to us - just 2.2 million light-years. In fact, IC 10 only became known to humankind in 1887, when American astronomer Lewis Swift spotted it during an observing campaign. The small galaxy remains difficult to study even today, because it is located along a line-of-sight which is chock-full of cosmic dust and stars.