NGC 253, Silver Dollar, Sculptor Galaxy

NGC 253
NGC 253: Silver Dollar Galaxy in Sculptor; 4" Vixen ED100, Canon EOS 20Da; 5 x 302s + 3 x 348s / 1600 ISO; Hakos / Namibia; © 2005 Eduard von Bergen


The galaxy NGC 253 was discovered by Caroline Herschel on September 23, 1783 in its 4.2 inch reflector while searching systematically for comets. It is also known as the Sculptor Galaxy or Silver Dollar. [277]

Physical Properties

The galaxy is of the morphological type SAB(s)c and a Seyfert galaxy with massive, active star formation. Measured distances range from 3 Mpc to 4.1 Mpc. [145] NGC 253 is one of the brightest and most dusty galaxies in the night sky.

«Catalogue of Principal Galaxies (PGC)», Paturel et al. 1989 [144]
DesignationsPGC 2789: NGC 253, ESO 474-29, MCG 4-3-9, UGCA 13
Right Ascension (J2000.0)00h 47m 34.3s
Declination (J2000.0)-25° 17' 32"
Morphological TypeSB
Dimensions26.4' x 6.0'
Visual Magnitude8.0 mag
Radial Velocity (HRV)250 km/s
Position Angle52°

Finder Chart

Deep in the south, the declination of -25° is one of the more difficult to access objects in our northern latitudes. The Sculptor Galaxy in the constellation Sculptor is probably one of the most beautiful and richly structured galaxies that can be viewed from the side. The best observation time is September to November. [192]

Chart NGC 253
Chart created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. [149, 160]


144Catalogue of Principal Galaxies (PGC); Paturel G., Fouque P., Bottinelli L., Gouguenheim L.; Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser. 80, 299 (1989); (2021-02-18)
145SIMBAD astronomical database;
149SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum;
160The STScI Digitized Sky Survey;
192Deep-Sky Guide; (2020-12-25)
277«Historische Deep-Sky Kataloge» von Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke; (2021-02-17)